Decimation

It was during the world cup fever that I read the first news of Médicins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) calling for international attention to content the new Ebola’s sprout. But media thought that news about soccer competition had priority. After all, world cup means money, and Ebola translates to money until becomes pandemic—when suddenly everyone becomes concerned by health and asking for a vaccine.

Today, people is concerned about the arrival of infected patients to Atlanta, and suggests apocalyptic scenarios about the situation.

Can a decease like Ebola wipeout the entire human race? I doubt it. Human is so complex that will develop the means for adaption. Should we be worried? I believe we need to look beyond to understand what an epidemic like these signifies.

From a point of view the epidemic scenario can be considered a Decimation.

Decimations is a word derived from Latin that means “removal of a tenth” and was a form of military discipline used by senior commanders in the Roman Army to punish units or a large groups guilty of capital offences such as mutiny or desertion (Wikipedia, 2014.)

Why should we be disciplined or punished?

By our way of living, perhaps?

I don’t want to be misunderstood as one of the Apocalypse enthusiast, because like in the definition stated above, I believe that human punishes humans.

I have learned that people worries, and act actively to solve problems when they are out of control. But seldom worries about the problems when they are tiny and manageable, or even worse, don’t look for the precursors of the problems.

This passive behavior can been seen in acute smokers or obese people suffering diabetes that wear a facemask concerned about catching Influenza A (H1N1) and removed their facemask to smoke or eat a huge bag of Cheetos.

Big problems are the cumulative result of small problems, in the way a bacteria or viruses infects the body multiplying one bacteria at the time.

What are the small problems that come back to haunt us in the case of an epidemic? We overpopulate earth, transform it—for worse—destroying the natural defenses for viruses and bacteria (mushrooms controls them within the ecosystems… when they exist.) We modify our DNA structure (what was harmful is now inoffensive, but what was inoffensive now is lethal, diabetes is one example.) Many of them happening by choice and others by permission.

From the philosophical point of view, these diseases are the symptoms of our sicken species and our planet. But from the point of view of evolutionism, we are just struggling with adaptation. The question is that if within Darwin’s paradigm, we will choose to punish ourselves by adapting our bodies to the transformations we make to our ecosystem, or to adapt our minds to not need such transformations and embrace our symbiotic relationship with the ecosystem?

The race in adaptation for humans is not to survive nature elements anymore, but to survive the action of man.

My pediatrician gave me a valuable advice: “Prevention is the best medicine.”

But, can we prevent us of hurting ourselves?

M. Ch. Landa

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