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Recovery Is Not Enough

While it is understandable that business and political leaders are desperate for a return to normal, thinking in such terms is a mistake. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need an entirely new way of thinking about systemic stability and security in the twenty-first century.

BRISBANE – COVID-19 is hitting everyone hard, and behind the scenes, defense and government leaders are viewing the pandemic as an example of the type of blow from which modern societies must be able to recover. Policymakers are convening experts from industry and academia to figure out how to ensure that such threats do not catch critical organizations off guard again. They want to know how we can be more resilient.

But COVID-19 is the kindest punch we are going to get.

For all its severity, the virus is a mindless entity, ultimately bound by the laws of physics and biology. It has no guile, and it punishes us only incidentally. Though it is novel and has proved more dangerous than most common contagions, it is not unlike the plagues and pandemics humans have confronted throughout recorded history.

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