In 2018, Bill Gates guest-edited an edition of Time Magazine, which focused on optimism. According to Gates, “being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice. It means you’re inspired to look for people making progress on those fronts, and to help spread that progress more widely” (Gates, 2018). In the same year, Steven Pinker published Enlightenment Now and the Roslings published Factfulness; both of which make a clear case that the world is better than we think. These were all attempts to counteract the paranoid pessimism of our time.
The world has improved in mind-blowing ways. Most people think the world is bad and getting worse, but scientific data proves otherwise. In reality, the world has never been richer and healthier than it is now. And it continues to get better. Nine particular improvements in living standards are driving this trend.
History is a long series of moral abominations.
The end of the pandemic may be in sight, but COVID-19 could be a harbinger of future calamities. If global leaders do not establish equitable mechanisms to respond before the next big crisis strikes, low-income countries and high-risk groups will once again pay the highest price.