Covid-19 – not managed with equal dexterity globally.
It is a complex problem.
Key challenges, consequences and opportunities relate to three interrelated areas:
• Key Challenges:
o Complex problem:
§ Multiple interacting factors, some unidentified – no simple chain of causality.
§ Small change to single factor – significant change in outcomes.
§ Problematic to identify and manage.
§ Prone to cognitive bias
§ Hallmark of complexity.
§ Bertrand Russell – ‘The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice’…
§ Communicating complexity, uncertainty and risk is testing.
§ Nature of the problem – delayed identification.
§ Super-specialists – conflict of assumptions, method, and language.
§ Multiple interpretations of evidence.
§ Requires constant reappraisal of evidence and iterations of strategy.
§ Evidence – shines a light but ‘the science’ cannot lead.
§ Simplistic solutions e.g., handwashing for a respiratory virus.
§ Repetition of mistakes, Einstein – …’The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results’.
§ Spectrum of potential ‘solutions’.
§ Lack of certainty – impression of incompetence.
§ Loss of trust.
o Identify and accept complexity and uncertainty.
§ Disruption to education – opportunity to review approach and content.
§ Critical thinking:
o Exploration of assumptions.
o Unpicking perspectives, theories, evidence, and values.
o Training – Government, public bodies, and media:
§ Develop training package.
§ Framework to:
• Identify and manage complex problems.
• Examine related evidence e.g. lessons learnt from SARS and MERS.
• Overview imperative.
§ Communication – between specialists, policy makers and the public.
o Application of approach to other complex issues could include.
§ Public health and social care. §