Welcome to this week’s editorial,
“Begone damn pox”.
As I was lying in my death bed (OK, an exaggeration being made by a male with a Man Cold) I found myself reflecting on the fragility, and more recently, the certainty of mankind when faced with ever evolving poxes.
By my own life experience I have encountered many a bacteria, disease and virus. Some were gentle that set out to put me on my backside for 24 hours or more whilst others had different intentions all together.
From time to time, depending on where my travels took me, I would prepare myself with a vaccination for this and that, I would prepare my first aid kit with all manner of scripts and acquaint myself with the latest information about outbreaks. My travels were off the beaten track and waiting for me there were all of the best bugs going.
Oh the stories I could tell that would shock most of you with their vivid detail while amusing many who enjoy schadenfreudeaccompanied by exotic scatological anecdotes.
But as I lay in by bed earlier today I thought of the current pox that is playing out in me. Quite a clever pox that entertains rib cramps when one least expects it, blocked and weeping ears, blocked sinuses, conjunctivitis and a raging razor cough that results in aching stomach muscles as you attempt to suppress the need. In all a very stylish little bug. And no, three RAT tests all declare it isn’t Covid.
As to where I picked up this virus? I really don’t know. Living a near hermit life and going to town once a week to buy groceries the window of opportunity is very narrow. And given I always wear a mask that window reduces further. But, this sneaky little virus found a way in. And that is the point. They are sneaky. Each and all of them. And they all want one thing. To multiply. And without having legs or wings they are smart enough to use us as their carrier.
I marvel that somewhere in the DNA of these bacteria, viruses and diseases is an understanding that humans have body fluids. If you infect the human eventually one or more of the humans exit-ports will deliver the next generation of bug to thrive and prosper. Its as if they know we don’t wash our hands fastidiously, are a bit forgetful when it comes to keeping our distance and that we love to congregate in every sense of the word.
With eight billion humans on the planet you might think we have the upper hand. The fact is that the fungi have us well and truly out numbered followed by the insects. In fact we are well down the list compared to just those two. But the leader of the pack is bacteria. Its everywhere. Just waiting to morph into its next evolution. Much like the viruses.
If we think Covid we now have a virus that is morphing from one version to another working out how to beat vaccines and immunity while adding a few more side effects each evolution. The latest are loss of libido and hairloss. Ask the scientists and they have no idea what might come next. It’s enough to have us think that moving to Mars might be an option.
But what if we arrived on Mars and found a message in a bottle “Life here is not sustainable. We have decided to try Earth. It has oxygen and water and appears Mostly Harmless”.
Until next (I hope, cough, cough, splutter)
Another classic from Mick Stevens