A loss of ‘potential intellectual life’

Education is “standing down” across the globe to slow the contagion of COVID-19. Many schools are shuttered. And despite the efforts of teachers in affluent countries using online education, there is a lot less learning going on.

How much will this affect the progress of world civilization?

There is a concept in medicine abbreviated “YPLL” for “years of potential life lost.” YPLL explains why pediatricians might be happier than gerontologists. Save the life of a baby and you have potentially saved 60 or more years of life. Save the life of an elderly person and you have perhaps given them another five or 10 years of life.



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