Your Monday Briefing

A romance steeped in worldwide espionage landed Alina López Miyares, a 62-year-old trainer with twin American-Cuban citizenship, in a Cuban jail. As in the very best spy tales, huge questions stay: How a lot did she know concerning the internet of espionage that entangled her? The place have been her loyalties?

In July 2014, a person boarded a airplane in Monrovia, Liberia, and flew to Lagos, Nigeria. He felt sick with a fever when the journey started and was in worse form by the point he landed. The Nigerian authorities took him to a hospital, the place medical doctors finally recognized Ebola.

From that first affected person, infections quickly started to unfold in Lagos, Africa’s most densely populated metropolis. However two months later, the disaster was over. Nigeria had no extra Ebola instances, and fewer than 10 folks, together with the person from Liberia, had died.

How did Nigeria stop an epidemic? It wasn’t science, or at the least not science as folks usually outline it. It was extra primary than that.

Nigeria succeeded by way of a mixture of excellent governance and organizational competence. Officers performed roughly 18,500 in-person interviews with folks doubtlessly uncovered to the Ebola virus after which moved those that gave the impression to be in danger into isolation wards. They have been launched in the event that they examined adverse, and moved to a special isolation ward in the event that they examined optimistic.

Extra lately, these similar sorts of logistics have helped some nations fare higher towards Covid-19 than others. Canada’s price of deaths per capita is just 37 p.c of the U.S. price, thanks partly to tighter journey restrictions. Britain and Israel are actually doing higher than continental Europe not due to laboratory discoveries however due to simpler vaccine distribution.

Most of the world’s greatest challenges as we speak, like Covid and local weather change, may appear to be technical issues. Additional technical progress is vital, however there’s a much more vital half to the equation. As with Nigeria’s Ebola administration, politics stays probably the most highly effective mechanism for human progress.

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