These are pretty interesting times we’re living in, to say the least.
Fear and uncertainty surround us and we’re all wading in the unknown, wondering when this global crisis will finally come to an end.
So to shed some light on our chance to cure COVID-19, I brought award-winning author Steven Kotler on the Mindvalley Podcast to offer a fresh and uplifting perspective backed by science.
In his New York Times bestsellers ‘Abundance’ and ‘BOLD,’ Steven breaks down how exponential technology is currently tackling immense global challenges.
And during our interview, he shared a fascinating concept he calls ‘The Three Pandemics’ that gave me newfound faith in how our future will look on the other side of this crisis.
The first we know all too well, the COVID-19 outbreak. The second, which has hit the world equally as hard, is a pandemic of fear.
However, the third and final phase, a pandemic of cooperation, will be the antidote to the first two on every level imaginable.
Life in the Last Pandemic
For the first time in history, the human race has unified against a common enemy, and kindness has become a worldwide phenomenon in the wake of this pandemic.
At a local level Steven says, “People everywhere are staying home and doing without to protect the old, the weak and the sick, and that is amazing.” However, the cooperation he finds most fascinating is within the world of science and technology.
In his new book, ‘The Future Is Faster Than You Think,’ Steven discusses a reinvention of the healthcare system that’s almost identical to what we’re seeing today.
He estimates that there are nearly 100 to 200 million doctors, nurses, scientists, and healthcare professionals entirely dedicated to the coronavirus. To put that in perspective, not long ago there were zero cures or vaccines for COVID-19, and now over 60 are being tested as we speak.
At this very moment, scientific data is being shared between scientists, companies, and even opposing nations. This is astounding because, according to Steven, “Science is a bloodsport. Nobody shares. Nobody cooperates. This doesn’t happen.”
Yet in a beautiful twist of fate, we all have no choice but to work side-by-side to tackle this unprecedented challenge.
When Exponential Challenge Meets Exponential Solutions
As Steven puts it, “This is the first time in history that we’re meeting an exponential challenge with exponential solutions.”
And one of the most incredible innovations transforming our approach to the virus today is in the realm of 3D printing.
Right now, there’s a worldwide hackathon to create 3D print respirators, masks and other medical supplies for overcrowded and understocked hospitals.
The Chinese company WindSun, which Steven mentions in three of his bestselling books, created 3D printed quarantine rooms and hospitals throughout China in a matter of days.
Then in a single afternoon, WindSun 3D printed a completely stocked cashier-less grocery store next to Wuhan’s primary hospital. This is absolutely unheard of.
And even on an individual scale, Steven believes we will all benefit from this sudden spike in innovation because,
“The smartphone is becoming the smart doctor.”
Soon we will be able to hook up sensors to our phones with tools that can diagnose the disease on the spot, leaving testing kits completely unnecessary.
And this is only the beginning.
Our Chance of Finding a Cure
With all of Steven’s insights on the rapid technological breakthroughs coming out of this crisis, I just had to ask:
How long until we end COVID-19 for good?
And while he didn’t have a concrete date or time to share, his answer did give me hope.
“The problem we’re running into is the ethical and safety issues behind testing this disease on humans and animals.”
This means there’s a long road ahead to find a vaccine.
And based on what we’ve learned from the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic – if you rush human testing, many people can die; so clinical trials could easily take over a year.
However, Steven believes COVID-19 won’t be wreaking havoc around the world for much longer because the global healthcare system is being completely reinvented as we speak.
What thought leaders in science and technology believed would take over a decade is already becoming a reality.
Harvard geneticists are currently creating new “bio-sniffer” devices that can detect airborne viruses and bacteria in real-time.
This information is then fed into an Artificial Intelligence device about the size of a cell phone which can immediately diagnose 50 of today’s most common diseases.
And the craziest part is, we’re close to replicating all human biology with AI technology.
When that happens, human testing will no longer be needed and we’ll be able to test antidotes at lightning speed. What would have taken 18 months will be able to happen in a matter of weeks.
The Light at the End of the Pandemic
As mind-blowing new technology comes along, we’re finding ways to accurately diagnose the virus to create workable vaccines almost immediately.
When we reach that point, cures will enter the global market incredibly fast and countless lives will be saved in the process.
And even though it may still be a year or 18 months until this particular vaccine is found, there is hope for the future.
We can no longer be indifferent to the suffering of those on the other side of the world; their family’s sickness today is your family’s tomorrow.
And as collaborative innovations continue to grow astronomically, we will find ways to avoid a global pandemic like this for good in the very near future. So in a strange way, this beautiful destruction has brought us all closer towards a common goal.
And when it comes to humanity emerging out of this crisis even better than before, Steven adds with an air of optimism: “My point is, I like our chances.”