Your Monday Briefing

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

In July 2014, a person boarded a aircraft 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 docs ultimately identified 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 forestall 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 mix of fine governance and organizational competence. Officers performed roughly 18,500 in-person interviews with folks probably uncovered to the Ebola virus after which moved those that gave the impression to be in danger into isolation wards. They had been launched in the event that they examined damaging, and moved to a distinct isolation ward in the event that they examined constructive.

Extra not too long ago, these identical sorts of logistics have helped some international locations fare higher in opposition to Covid-19 than others. Canada’s fee of deaths per capita is barely 37 p.c of the U.S. fee, thanks partly to tighter journey restrictions. Britain and Israel at the moment are doing higher than continental Europe not due to laboratory discoveries however due to simpler vaccine distribution.

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

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