Was 2020 the worst year ever? The media keep saying that. We did have the pandemic, a bitter election, unemployment, riots, and a soaring national debt. But wait, look at the good news, says historian Johan Norberg . His new book, Open: The Story of Human Progress , points out how life keeps getting better, even if people just don’t realize it. 2020 was “the best year in human history to face a pandemic,” he says.
Had the pandemic happened in 2005, “You wouldn’t have the technology to create mRNA vaccines.”
“In 1990,” he continues, “we wouldn’t have a worldwide web. If we had had this pandemic in 1976, we wouldn’t have been able to read the genome of the virus. And…in 1950, we wouldn’t have had a single ventilator.”
“If you look at specifics like global poverty, child mortality, chronic undernourishment, and illiteracy,” Norberg replies, “they all declined faster than ever.”
Those things are pretty good measures of quality of life.
“Literacy might be the most important skill,” says Norberg. “It’s the skill that makes it possible to acquire other skills. We’ve never seen literacy at these high levels ever before. [Even] in the most problematic countries around the world, it’s better than it was in the richest countries 50, 60 years ago. That’s most important for those who have the least.”
Source: 2020 Did Bring Some Good News