I can’t resist calling a bold prediction. Much like the concept of climate change 10 years ago was a novel concept. Today I foresee the rise of the quick mutating disease. Diseases like the Novel Coronavirus will not need to be described as Novel in 10 years as that will simply be the implied norm.
It makes sense. The more people the faster diseases can spread and if this round is any indicator, the disease has mutated whether by chance or skill into something which in it’s nature is extraordinarily difficult to quarantine.
With the rise of humans we have several factors which will guarantee this path. First we have the slow homogeneity of plant and animal species. This means diseases which spread need to battle less and less biodiversity which is a natural defense mechanism.
Secondly, the bottom 50% of the world is quickly pulling themselves from the 3rd world to the developing world. This upward mobility is fantastic yet looking at most folks in these categories hygeiene takes a generation or two to catch on. Basics like covering your mouth when you sneeze. This means a cohort becomes well off enough to widen their radius while maintaining poor hygeiene practices while being the most likely to carry diseases from the 3rd world which 1st world immune systems are not prepared for.
Third, technological advancements in science and transportation. Science will always play defense against disease so we can rule out ever getting ahead for too long. Transportation in the other hand is becoming more democratized and cheaper than ever. If Gen X traveled to 8 countries on average and Gen Y travels to 20. Imagine the disapora once Gen Z travels to 50 or more countries in their lifetime. That type of mobility is a nightmare for disease control.
Lastly, consider the impact of population density. Modern big urban cities sustain over 10M lives. Who knows how large that number may grow to in the next decade considering all the best jobs are concentrated within major metros. Seeing the drastic measures China is taking to keep the lid on the Coronavirus, ask yourself if this outbreak occured in New York how would we contain such a problem? Its hard to imagine New York locking down via coercion and fear. It’s very un-American.
Where is the silver lining in all of this? I’d say as of now governments seem to have a pretty good handle on these scenarios. Which I’m very impressed by. Listening if his scary the Coronavirus is it is wildly optimistic to know that it’s being contained slowly and strategically. Silver lining here is human beings survival instinct needs to be tested ever now and then and this test is showing that the alert system is still fully functioning.