Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Yep, Diseases Scare Me

The flip side of the wish-fulfillment aspects of end-of-the-world stories is the fear scenario on which they are built. In other words, for every survive-the-cataclysm story, there must be a cataclysm. I currently see widespread disease as the most likely real-world apocalypse scenario. Thanks to things like global warming (pardon me, we're calling it climate change now), rapid human travel, and the increasing wealth disparity, pandemic seems to have a certain ring of non-randomness that an asteroid impact just can't manage. As with most such things, the real world is likely to be a bit more subtle about it than a rapid zombie pandemic, but in many ways a slow decay can be even more frightening than a rapid death. Disease itself has heavy involvement in mythology, from the aforementioned zombies, through vampirism, lycanthropy, witches bringing the Black Death, and all the way to being personified as one of The Four Horsemen. There is also a very real link between poverty and disease, which compounds social factors and helps disguise the problem.

So if you are feeling good today, take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy it.

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