This week, thousands of top political and business leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum—one of the highest-profile mass events in the world. And the forum, colloquially called Davos after its location, had excellent COVID-19 safety protocols.
The protocols included: PCR tests required onsite (and event badges linked to negative results), masks recommended and available throughout the meeting venue, state-of-the-art ventilation systems, and far-UVC light. Only the best safety measures for the world’s elite, right? Even as many of those elites claim the pandemic is “over”?
News of the Davos COVID-19 protocols has led to media commentary and a Twitter hashtag, #DavosSafe, as public health experts point out that high-quality testing, ventilation, and other measures should not just be for billionaires.
Rather than get angry about the inequities here, I’d like to use Davos as a reminder that many disease mitigation strategies don’t have to be expensive or restricted. Individuals can wear masks, build Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, test before gatherings, and take other relatively cheap measures to cut down on disease spread.
To quote from Julia Doubleday in her Substack, The Gauntlet:
We deserve better. We deserve to be #DavosSafe as the hashtag going around on twitter puts it. Your children deserve to be treated with the care that world leaders are treating each other. Your family deserves to be protected from the disease which is still- unlike the flu- the third leading cause of death in the US. We don’t deserve to be shoved back into poorly ventilated workplaces while our politicians and press assure us that only crazy people would demand to breathe clean air.