Again and again, the world was warned that it was not ready for a pandemic. By the World Health Organization and the World Bank in a huge study last year. By numerous research scholars and long magazine articles. Even by Bill Gates in a TED Talk in 2015. And yet we were still unprepared for COVID-19.
Today on the show, Tim Harford, economist and host of the Cautionary Tales podcast, joins Cardiff and Stacey to help explain why we fail to prepare for disasters. Why we didn’t have enough protective equipment. Why we were slow to produce enough tests for the virus. Why we took too long to implement social distancing. The reasons we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes are behavioral and economic. They’re also highly rational.