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Thread: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Adele Peters
    March 13 2020

    While pandemics and major epidemics have been defining moments throughout history, compared to now, they used to be relatively rare. Thatís changing this century: first came SARS, then the swine flu, MERS, a new outbreak of Ebola, Zika, Dengue fever, and now COVID-19. And while scientists race to develop a vaccine and drugs for the new coronavirus, that wonít solve the larger problem. Thereís a clear link between the spread of viruses and the relationship between humans and the natural world...

    Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90476657...obal-pandemics
    Last edited by Julieanne; 04-08-20 at 11:22 AM.

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Your link source appears to have been hacked, it pops up and then quickly disappears. I guess someone doesn't like controversial discussion and comment about global, regional, and/or local overpopulation, a subject that I much beat the drum about.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Polio, SARS, swine flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika, dengue, and COVID-19.....they are all RNA viruses. Unlike DNA viruses, RNAs mutate rapidly. In other words, the RNA genetic material constantly makes mistakes within the host cells as it replicates itself, causing the virus to look different in different people. Chinese scientists reportedly have found different versions of the virus in some of the earlier infected Wuhan victims. These mutations complicate, and will likely prolong, the development of an effective vaccine. For ex., the RNA virus that causes Polio (actually there are 3 types) was discovered in 1908. The U.S. approved the polio vaccine in 1955--47 years later. Take the RNA virus - Ebola. It was first discovered in 1965. The U.S. just approved an Ebola vaccine in 2019--54 years later. But, the U.S. Ebola vaccine covers only 1 of the 6 different species of Ebola. The first human coronavirus was discovered in the late 1960s. The RNA coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, was discovered 20 yrs. ago, and we're nowhere near a vaccine for SARS-Cov. So, coming up with a vaccine for SARS-Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may be decades away.

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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Given the many species of viruses óover 500 at last count óand given the ability with which these RNA viruses mutate ó what are the odds that we will find an effective vaccine dedicated to covid-19 soon enough to stop or even slow the world wide spread? Given that we have been trying for decades to fight the common flu, and are often successful over one or two out of three variations, how likely is it that we will hit upon upon a single effective virus vaccine for the coronavirus? And by the time that happens, how many mutations may that virus have already completed? Of course I wish I had a better answer, but vaccines seem to be a rather hit or miss approach and I remain skeptical of its effectiveness.

    Grulla, your problem maybe Local since I have no troublewith Julieanne's article.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Two points on our shrinking world and pandemics: First, humans choose to encroach further and further into wild animal habitats, increasing the risks of contracting novel animal viruses that can turn into pandemics. Second, open air markets all over the world are increasingly selling and trading wild bats, snakes, civets, etc. As we expand the sale of wild animals in congested market places, we increase our exposure to diseases we've never experienced before. Bottom line: pandemics are man-made.

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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    So may I introduce a related topic here: population growth.
    This is merely a wild ass speculation… But can periodic pandemics help to reduce the threat of overpopulation and loss of habitat to native species?
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    I've been thinking along those lines, and someone I spoke to last week had similar thoughts - sort of 'culling the herd'. Too many people, living too close together.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Agree with you both. Pandemics certainly "cull the herd," reducing the threat of overpopulation. However, UN population projections show we're going to "thin the herd" on our own. The world's population is rapidly getting older, while the number of births are projected to decline beginning around 2060. About the same time, the number of deaths really peak. As the number of deaths approaches the number of births, the global population growth will come to an end. Take a look at these world population projections: https://ourworldindata.org/births-and-deaths

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    It's sad to see that the human race (as a whole) can't control over population in a sane, sensible, and civilized way instead of relying on wars, pandemics, famines, etc. Japan and Russia (and some other countries too) are the two major countries that have their populations reducing themselves through passive, civilized, though inadvertent means.

    I must admit though, that there are few easy answers to this over population dilemma. The one answer that comes to my mind is why are we (the U.S.) still allowing income tax deductions for procreation??? A flat tax like Russia's 13% or even a sliding scale GROSS income tax could be one answer, (while perhaps still allowing for legitimate disability and poverty exemptions).

    https://www.thoughtco.com/population...russia-1435266

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...vel-in-history

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...n-decline.html Interesting list near the bottom of the page of 28 declining population countries, and "Maurya", you'll never guess who #28 is.

    PS: And this morning's EcoWatch brought up another over-population related issue, enough clean and safe WATER,
    https://www.ecowatch.com/water-crisi...63ad3-85964677
    Last edited by grulla; 04-20-20 at 09:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Wizard View Post
    Two points on our shrinking world and pandemics: First, humans choose to encroach further and further into wild animal habitats, increasing the risks of contracting novel animal viruses that can turn into pandemics. Second, open air markets all over the world are increasingly selling and trading wild bats, snakes, civets, etc. As we expand the sale of wild animals in congested market places, we increase our exposure to diseases we've never experienced before. Bottom line: pandemics are man-made.
    On point.

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    Default Re: Why Our Shrinking World Is Increasing The Pace Of Pandemics

    BandsAiud, welcome to Hawkes' Health! Please start a thread in the New Members forum to introduce yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for a living? Do you have specific health concerns? Let us hear from you!
    ‚ě§ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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