Policymakers around the world have shown a certain degree of unpreparadmess to cope with the pandemic challenge, even those characterized by resourceful health systems. The author’s argument is that the problem does not rely on the lack of robustness of health systems, but rather on the lack of complexity thinking. The paper analyses some conceptual dimensions of complexity thinking and how these may inspire the strategic responses of different regional authorities to the pandemic phenomenon. It shows the prevalence of complex responses to Coronavirus in successful experiences, while reductionist strategies appear to underpin most failures. It concludes with a call to find new metaphors that evokes complexity.
Keywords: Pandemic, Covid, complexity, reductionism, healthcare, Campania, Veneto, Lombardy.