What did you think about the reading?
I thought that part 4 of The Hot Zone By Richard Preston was an adequate conclusion to the events that preceded it in parts 1, 2, and 3. Although it still left many questions unanswered, it gave the reader several fascinating concepts to contemplate. These included (the most fascinating, in my opinion) the idea that viruses are simply the agents of the world’s immune system. The novel suggested that they maybe used to control the human population and stop it from reaching unsustainable sizes. If you really think about this you can discover several points that support this concept. For one, the development of a society in regards to sustainability will likely directly correlate to the society’s development in the medical (virus-outbreak prevention specifically) field. Both of the factors mentioned above should correlate to the total population. At the time that the Bubonic plague occurred, means of sustainability and technologies in food related industries and medicinal practices where all underdeveloped in regards to the population. As a result, the plague was difficult to stop and many people died. It is true that our World is being heavily mistreated and something should be done to prevent future problems regarding life. The trip to Kitum cave was an interesting addition to the plot and really shows you how viruses should be feared.
What did you learn?
The conclusion to the novel made me open my eyes about how the world cycles from one state to another and how so many seemingly one-dimensional earthly processes are really intricate and have complicated goals. I obviously learned about Ebola’s properties in comparison to that of HIV/AIDS. The author also provided insight on the most prominent and emerging viruses that all have the potential to be lethal. There are so many things that can go wrong in the world due to a very slight error. I really learned to appreciate the people that make it their job to fight virus outbreaks in unknown situations. Everything and anything will likely go wrong and they will have to adapt to the situation. Even though they do not receive glorification of many people that have done much less to benefit us.
What questions do you still have?
Obviously the question that needs to be on everybody’s mind after reading this book is whether or not we will see another Ebola outbreak anywhere in the World? Will any other AIDS or Ebola like virus become capable of destroying all of human life? I wonder whether or not society will ever reach such a developed state where we are 100% free of diseases with nothing besides age and random events can cease our existence. You can never know what will happen in the future, so all we can do is wait. With the rate of scientific innovation in the medical field increasing exponentially, we will more likely than not see a safer, easier, and healthier future.