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"And indeed , as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperilled. He knew that the jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books:that plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good: that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen closet, that it bides its time in bedroom , cellars, trunks and bookshelves , and perhaps the day would come when for the bane and enlightening men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city".
As I read these last lines of the book "Plague by Albert Camus", it left me wondering ....
Is it really all there is , is this how things will go down or that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.
Now that a year has gone since the outbreak and we are still struggling to curtail the virus, how would life change or will we forget and move on with our lives, assuming that the blight seem to have retreated , slinking back to the obscure lair from which it had stealthily emerged.
To get an insight into how virus works and spreads ~ "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic"is a great read.
"When a pathogen leaps from some nonhuman animal into a person, and succeeds there in establishing itself as an infectious presence, sometimes causing illness or death, the result is a zoonosis," Mr. Quammen writes, and he tells us that the term is "a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century."
The fatal leap from animal to human~ Life-threatening infectious diseases such as AIDS, Ebola, virus flu, SARS and currently Covid-19 can spread quickly over large areas thanks to globalization and trigger epidemics or even pandemics. They have one thing in common: the pathogens jumped from animals to humans - the so-called spillover. In a book that is as excitingly narrated as it is disturbing, the award-winning science author David Quammen describes how and where viruses, bacteria and other pathogens are preferentially transmitted to humans. He accompanies researchers in their search for the origin of the epidemics, including gorillas in the Congo, observes them working with bats in China and monkeys in Bangladesh and explains why the risk of spillover has increased. A science thriller about the increasing risk of pandemics in the globalised world.
The two novels talk of the same issue but at different levels.
In Camus work you read how a small town is shut off from the rest of the world, its citizens confined to their homes, as a contagion spreads, infecting thousands, and subjecting thousands more to quarantine?
How would you cope if an epidemic disrupted daily life, closing schools, packing hospitals, and putting social gatherings, sporting events and concerts, conferences, festivals and travel plans on indefinite hold?
Sadly we are very much aware of this situation today.Given the relevance of this book today~the book demands reading.
Spillover on the other hand covers a wider perspective. It divulges into the science of an epidemic. It take instances from different diseases and the cause of its spread.
Certainly humans can be destructive and shortsighted, they can also be forward thinking and altruistic. Time and time again people have demonstrated that they care about the problem of sharing the earth with other creatures.
The one feature these events have in common is change and, to more specific, rate of change. When world changes faster than species can adapt, many fall out.
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