OPINION

Entering an era of pandemics

entering-an-era-of-pandemics

There are more than a few scientists who say that there are diseases that have remained buried in the icy parts of the world for thousands of years now. Climate change and the ice melt, at the poles in particular, may bring them to the surface, “waking up” all these invisible, tiny sleeping giants.

If this happens, science warns, we are more likely to be exposed to viruses, bacteria and germs for which we are completely unprepared.

Fear-mongering? I wish. After all, in an age of rapid advancement in science and technology, we have also seen a spectacular rise in occult conspiracy theories and a deep, deep distrust of scientific reason. On the one hand, the widespread theories about the dark role of the pharmaceutical industry (many of which are not really innocent…) and, on the other hand, the inability of science to control and eradicate any epidemic very quickly. All that has brought about this distrust.

But, probably, this is wrong: They did not bring about the distrust, but, rather, increased it to the point of rejection. In essence, however, this collective spirit has been here for many years now. And, as the scientists themselves say, it is very common, during times when scientific research and technology are thriving, to have a counterweight of irrationality, the occult and conspiracy theories.

Beyond innate suspicion (usually a product of ignorance), the problem with science is that it doesn’t have answers to everything and often not at the time we want them. Usually, science does not give easy answers, no matter whether the questions concern aliens or viruses. Many people wonder: Can it be possible that science today cannot defeat the virus?

So there is something that was made up here.

And yet it is possible, for a time at least, for science to be unable to deal with a new virus, which, in addition, has the ability to mutate easily. Climate change experts have said that it is very likely that we have entered an era of pandemics precisely because of climate change, food chain disruption and overheating.

The scenario stipulating that unknown viruses may be buried, preserved in the ice which in the meantime is melting, is very scary. It’s reminiscent of a Stephen King science-fiction movie or thriller.

So we live in a marginal state – marginal for our lives and bodies, marginal for our relationships, marginal for our national economies.

Why is it so difficult for some to realize this, and to protect themselves and others?