Do What I Mean
May 16th, 2020
I am a firm believer in the Pareto Principle which states that in many cases 80% of the result is achieved by 20% of the effort, and, consequently, that the remaining 20% of the result takes 80% of the effort. This means, if you can live with 80% of the result, you are 16 times more efficient than when you insist on the 100%.
The chief of the World Food Programme (WFP) warned the UN Security Council that in a few months the world might face “multiple famines of biblical proportions” from the economic impact of COVID-19 that could result in 300,000 deaths per day over a three-month period. That's the same amount of victims per day as COVID-19 has taken so far in total!
I think this calls for us to stop our 100% ambition and start applying the Pareto principle. But what would the 20% effort be to contain COVID-19? I think it is this (but remember: I am no expert):
These rules allow some wiggle room. That is intentional. When you are extra vulnerable to this virus, for example because of your age or because of an existing condition, you can apply the rules more strictly. Others can be a bit more relaxed. This way I hope we can get maximum effectiveness with minimal collateral damage.
And remember, the current measures against COVID-19 are doing a lot of damage. The billions we spend/loose now will have consequences for years and maybe even decades to come. This will mean less budget for health, education, social services, and foreign aid. This will hit the vulnerable the hardest, including the elderly, the poor, and the ill, which are exactly those we intend to protect from Corona now.