Early on in the pandemic, I also co-authored a paper with Diego Sourrouille of the World Bank on COVID-19 mortality in rich and poor countries. Among other things, that paper predicted based on demographic patterns that we would soon see a massive shift in the global mortality distribution to the developing world. The prediction unfortunately materialized (for a discussion, see this Guardian article by Laura Spinney).
The work on pandem-ic benefited from the data inputs of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (mainly for cases and mortality data), Our World in Data (for vaccination data) and The Economist (for the excess mortality estimates). Thanks to everyone behind these efforts, including Edouard Mathieu and Sondre Solstad.
Even though this project is a side effort, I am grateful that its outputs are used widely within the World Bank, including in the COVID-19 newsletter of the Human Development Vice-Presidency. I also would like to thank my co-author Indermit Gill of the World Bank for the work we published at Brookings titled “COVID-19 is a developing country pandemic“, which called attention to the severity of the pandemic in the developing world.
Also, a thank you to various colleagues of the World Health Organization. Gabby Stern was among the first to spot a “vaccine equity tracker” that was regularly shared on Twitter and formed the basis for the development of pandem-ic. Since then, several WHO colleagues have been supportive of this effort and I would like to thank in particular Samira Asma and Peter Singer.
I would also like to thank the various practitioners, academics and colleagues who have through their regular interactions been a source of inspiration and feedback. In addition to those already mentioned, this includes Jorge Araujo, Luis Benveniste, Gabriel Demombynes, Tom Frieden, Amanda Glassman, Gregg Gonsalves, Michele Gragnolati, Huade Huo, Matthew Kavanagh, Xander Koolman, Anthony Leonardi, Mamta Murthi, Madhu Pai, Bart Pauwels, Bryce Quillin, Alasdair Rae, Gavin Yamey and Shahid Yusuf.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the many readers of this work for their comments and suggestions, which have served as a source of inspiration. Thank you all.
If this effort has made a small contribution to a better and more global understanding of the challenges we’re facing during this unprecedented health emergency, it will have been worth it.