as i said before, there is unwarranted alarmism, and there is a false sense of security.
that you aren't scared is fine for you. i'm glad.
the question is, what should scare you?
sarin gas? dirty bombs? how many people can those things kill?
the fact is simply that we are way overdue for something like SARS. it is a simple interplay of statistics, viral genetics, and opportunity.
in the normal average world of any animal population, the viruses that survive are the ones that balance their mortality rates with their infection rates. grow too slowly, and your host will beat you down into extinction. grow too fast, and you are way too virulent for your own good. you burn your hosts out and kill them before you even get a chance to spread.
but does 6.25 billion humans, many packed into dense urban environments, resemble a natural animal population? we are very intelligent, and we have done lots of things other animals can't. but we are still animals. we are still flesh. it is still open season on us for any parsite that can figure out how to spread amongst us.
so the normal rules for our virii of balancing their burn rate against their opportunities for infection don't necessarily apply anymore. any virus that decided to just wantonly kill will still spread because we are so packed in our large urban centers. it won't burn itself out.
do you think that is impossible? improbable, but not impossible. and over a large enough span of time, with billions of humans, it becomes probable. it is just a matter of time until some virus hits the genetic lottery. if not SARS, then something else someday. if SARS is not it, something else will evolve that will take advantage of our gigantic, vulnerable populations.
this is simple mathematical rules of chance and epidemiology and viral genetics at play.
we are way overdue for something like this.
look at the world as a parsite that doesn't care about anything except how fast it can spread. the parasite doesn't care if it survives. a virus is just a packet of genes. it evolves and mutates. its infection rates go up, its infection rates go down, it constantly evolves and mutates and changes, naturally, randomly. and every once in awhile, one simple virus hits upon a novel infection route which overwhelms our natural defenses until we compensate with our own evolutionary forces of defense.
this is an arms race as old as time, as old as parasites have existed on this planet.
you call me an alarmist. but over the span of centuries and millenia, things like this happen. it is mother natures way of cleaning up unnaturally large concentrations of single species that predators can't control. that sounds like humanity to me.
we are nothing but beasts of burden to our parasites. that one evil virus should suddenly appear and start killing wantonly is not by design, it is just mathematics and chance and genetic variability and opportunity and evolutionary forces playing themselves out.
you go ahead and not be scared. i'm proud of you. but don't think you are smarter for being less scared. you're just less scared.
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
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