Donald at the Bat – Day 1215, Why Do We Have Pandemics?

Day 1215, Why Do We Have Pandemics? 


Why do we have pandemics?

Evolution, population, transportation.

Viruses mutate, jump into new hosts,

Making them fitter to reproduce.

Some make you cough, so you help them spread,

Most illnesses mild, “It’s just a head cold,”

Some hosts very sick though, and a few die.

(Kill all your hosts: you extinguish yourself.)


Populations increase; we’re crowded and dense.

We’re closer together; we breathe the same air.

We shake hands and hug; what’s yours becomes mine.

And what’s mine becomes yours,

Including my germs and including yours.


We travel by air, L.A. to the East Coast,

Beijing to Seattle or Rome or New York.

Anywhere, everywhere, and in only one day.

And our bugs come along for the ride.


Evolution: new viruses.

Population: too crowded.

Transportation: we’re mobile.

Result: pandemics, and there will be more.


Viruses understand this and have adapted.

Do we?  Have we?