Friday, June 10, 2016

Pestilence is one of the Four Horsemen

Long long ago when I started this blog, I ruminated on the fate of humankind.  And I was then, and am now, concerned about overpopulation of this planet of remarkable variety and finite resources.

For long before history, and during much of the historical period, population was controlled by natural factors.  The amount of available food.   Wars with neighboring tribes.   Weather and climate conditions out of the norm, leading to deprivation and migration.

And number one on the list:  disease.   That's why Pestilence is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Search with the word "pestilence" on my blog and you'll see other things I've written about it.

We humans have done real well at fighting disease, and many other health factors that used to lay waste to wide swaths of the human population.  We have only just recently emerged from the period when the common cold and the common flu were feared as potential killers.  Between vaccination and antibiotics, many of the scourges have been reduced to either minimal threats -- or memories.

But there is always the risk of infection, even from small wounds. And overuse of antibiotics has led to increasing resistance in the adaptable bacterial population.  So much so that in fact, what has long been feared has now been found:

Superbug resistant to ALL drugs reaches the US, experts warn

That's right folks;  you can read the article for the particulars, but here's the dangerous bottom line:

"CDC director, Dr Tom Frieden, said: 'It basically shows us that the end of the road isn't very far away for antibiotics, that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive-care units, or patients getting urinary tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics'

Now, we aren't going to get laid low as humanity by this anytime soon. But it does prove that nature finds a way.  As we exploit all that our Earth has to offer, the Earth and its denizens may still have ways to restore the balance.  We won't necessarily agree with those ways.

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