1. Good risk management involves monitoring leading indicators (known as KRIs, or Key Risk Indicators) that allow an organization to see that something has changed, which means the ability to respond quicker.  Obviously someone was asleep at the wheel in many places, allowing the number of COVID cases to get too large before responding.  Since the growth was exponential (of course it looks linear if you only look at two points!) any delay had the potential do be devastating.
  2. Which controls to apply involves understanding both their effectiveness and their costs. Because of the delays, the cost is now astronomical.  And of course the lies about masks not being useful was only to protect availability of masks to healthcare workers, and didn’t consider alternative means of covering up that normal citizens could have used.  Any filter is better than none.  Why else would they say cough/sneeze into your elbow?
  3. Effective risk mitigation requires considering timing, volume (and as stated above, cost).  Several previous studies said we weren’t ready, and no one responded to the known deficiencies.  We should make sure those who didn’t respond then are not considered heroes for their responses now.