Yes, I am stretching to bring these two disparate news items together, but it is the connection between them that links to my ceditra entry of just two days ago.
With that out of the way, the random idea generator (which mutates as quickly as some viruses) I use to create my ceditra entries landed me on page 587 of my dictionary.
pes – ti – len – tial adj
1. of or relating to pestilence
2. dangerous, troublesome,
It’s been quite some time in history since there has been a panic about a true honest-to-goodness plague.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 would be my candidate for the last time the globe suffered world-wide hysteria about a malady and having that hysteria justified. Having three percent of the world’s population killed by the disease (low-ball estimates of the pandemic put the death toll at 50,000,000) qualifies as letting me use the term “hysteria justified”. What added to the panic was the fact that this disease could pass from person to person with only minimal contact.
Since that time there have been other panics about a global pandemic but they have been unfounded either because the method of contamination was so specific or because the pathogen didn’t live long enough outside of the human host.
The H1N1 flu of 2009, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, was the most recent scare. While over eighteen thousand people were killed by the disease, the malady never came to close to Spanish Flu levels either because people were vaccinated in time before a full explosion of the disease could take hold or because the strain wasn’t that virulent in the first place.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) had folk around Asia wearing surgical masks at the start of the 21st century, but, again, it was tough for a person to pick it up from another person (I may be wrong about that last part).
Knock on wood, cross my fingers, and throw copious amount of salt over my shoulder, I hope I and my children (and their children) never see a pandemic equal to the Spanish Flu.
They (thankfully) just don’t make plagues like they used to (and there was much rejoicing!).
If you want a fun pandemic, jump over here.