Trying to comprehend how a dribble’s weight of virus can terrify not just the populations of the mighty landmasses, the Americas, China and India, but all of the world, really challenges imagination.
|Trust ... The annual flu jabs were administered, ouch, but who could have guessed in the autumn that something closer to a miracle was the real need. Photo by CDC on Unsplash|
Throughout most of our lives, we’ve learned to accept its intrusion as not much more aggravating than parking tickets and lottery investments that fail, and temper tantrums of loved ones.
A bad name
Yet give a flu bug a bad name - like coronavirus, and covid-19 - and term the virus itself as ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 - (SARS-CoV-2) – and suddenly it’s much more of a challenge to all of us, it seems, than Gorbachev, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Zedong, all wrapped up into one.
|World challenger ... When you weigh up this threat to our species, well, you'll need very small scales. This photo also by CDC on Unsplash. Thanks to CDC and Unsplash.|
How can that be? Some of the question is answered by New Yorker magazine, which compares it with the flu pandemic of 1918.
I had imagined that man against man – war - could destroy more of us than any bug. The first world war, 1914 to 1918, for instance, zapped the lives of 20 million.
The religious might wonder how the progeny of Adam and Eve could inflict such trench warfare horror on their fellow beings.
And for that matter, they might wonder why God didn’t interfere.
However, in the last year of that crazy war, 1918, a flu epidemic – bugs in spit - slew between fifty and a hundred million people.
To comprehend the enormity of that toll of Nature against man, UK’s population is around 66.4 million, and about 30 million live in Australia and New Zealand.
It seems that the bug that slipped out of Wuhan, China, could destroy many more than any war if we don’t follow the dictates of respective governments, with ghastly social distancing and the like.
In a way it’s ironic that I recommend the New Yorker magazine article for a slightly better understanding of the horror that waits to nab us, for didn’t their country's fine, er, leader only recently deny the virus’s very existence?
Even so, if you have a few minutes to spare in your isolation, it is worth reading.
Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory and on Blogger,