Every previous crisis has provoked a realisation that we lacked the data we needed. The Great Depression prompted governments to gather data about unemployment and national income. The banking crisis of 2007-08 showed regulators that they had far too little information about stresses and vulnerabilities in the financial system. The pandemic should prompt us to improve the data we gather on public health. Governments routinely use labour surveys to understand the economic health of households; they should now do the same with literal health. We could assemble a representative panel of volunteers who agreed to medical check-ups every three months. This would provide invaluable data and, in times of crisis, the volunteers could be approached more frequently, for example, for regular swabs to track the spread of a new virus.
This makes me wonder, when do you have enough data? Although I agree with where the piece is coming from, I worry how data is always good for someone.