As difficult as COVID-19 is here in America where people are urged to wash their hands multiple times a day, imagine you were living in a place where you had to walk two miles to access clean water. From India to Nigeria, tens of millions of people are living without access to running water and good sanitation, much less bottles of Purell. While we can’t apply our standards to much of the Global South, there’s much that can be done to treat the disease and prevent its spread in areas where it may be the most deadly.
In many parts of the world, diseases as deadly as COVID-19 have struck before. Lessons from the front lines for the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and from outbreaks of cholera and Zika in some of the world’s most vulnerable and hard to reach communities, can and should be applied quickly. We must act now to keep a COVID-19 tidal wave from killing millions of people in the global south.