Scientists estimate we will face a health emergency at least once every five years. Our new initiative seeks a better response
• Sally Davies is a former chief medical officer for England
We are at a crossroads. As the impacts of Covid-19 continue the world over and the second wave moves through Europe, we have a choice to make. Will we simply respond to the here and now, or do we take a moment to stop, look up and see beyond the horizon of this pandemic towards the next one?
Because there will be a next one. Covid-19 is neither the first nor the last health emergency we will face. My fellow scientists estimate that we will face a pandemic or health emergency at least once every five years from here on. There is a chance that this is the optimistic scenario. The reality could be far worse.