Clem Sunter, renowned futurist and scenario strategist in a book published in 2015 entitled Flagwatching, wrote about how important it was to identify the flags changing the world as we know it. One of the flags was the increasing likelihood of a global pandemic due to higher rates of international travel and the growing concentration of people in megacities. Likewise, the transmission of viruses across different species was a major concern as was the appearance of multi-drug resistant varieties of bacteria.
At the time he quoted Louis Pasteur, the remarkable 19th century French microbiologist, who in a moment of pessimism said: “It is the microbes who will have the last word.”
The Coronavirus, alternatively called COVID-19, is now spreading so quickly around the world that, despite the containment measures taken by China where the virus originated, it now exists on every continent other than Antarctica. Clem Sunter spells out three possible scenarios.