I do something that you may or may not do. I watch YouTube Videos of Ted Talks. The TED stands for Technology Environment and Design. These short videos provide interesting and informative ideas from various thinkers about topics I usually find of great interest. Recently, I was watching a talk recorded August 30, 2018, given by Bishop Matthew Hassan Kuhah. He is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese in Sokoto, Nigeria. I must admit, I didn’t listen very much to the content of his speech, because I couldn’t get pass the topic: What Now? The topic drew me to what’s happening now.
History shows us that viral and bacterial infections have nearly brought civilization to a halt before. For example, the Bubonic Plague was the cause of the Black Death that swept through Asia, Europe and Africa in the 14th century. It killed an estimate 50 million people (Wikipedia). When the Europeans invaded the Americas, the population of indigenous people was nearly emptied within just a few generations. Some academics estimate that approximately 20 million people may have died in the years following the invasion – up to 95% of the population of the Americas. No medieval force, no matter how bloodthirsty, could have achieved such enormous levels of genocide. Instead, Europeans were aided by a deadly secret weapon they weren’t aware they were carrying, Smallpox (Guns Germs and Steel).
During contemporary times, we’ve seen scares prompted by Ebola, Zika, HIV, Measles and many nasty microscopic critters that seemed to have pulled together campaigns to take us all out. Do you remember the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009? It lasted from January 2009 to August 2010. The CDC estimates that as many as 575,000 people world-wide died from the Swine Flu.
I penned these words not to scare us, or to paint some fatalistic picture portraying the eventual eradication of the human race by microscopic life forms from inner space, but to remind us of the reality that the occupiers of the top of the food chain stand confidently on a somewhat shaky pedestal.
Too often what we can’t see can hurt us the most. Maybe the world should (collectively) be developing an inner space force? It might help us deal with the never-ending wave of microscopic enemies, and to address the question What Now? more effectively.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.