Eradicating terrifying viruses like polio and smallpox were hard-fought victories achieved by enquiring minds and the rigours of the scientific method. And yet, so many of them were ridiculed or even bitterly opposed.
This is a time of loneliness and deep uncertainty. For the first time in a generation, we are thrust into the very core of our human vulnerability. For now, we live as people did for thousands of years before us, smitten dumb by the power of nature, unable to protect ourselves from its invincibility. We have no solution so far to the cruelty of the coronavirus. We are thrust helplessly on the most ancient of remedies: To hide and live in hope.
This is a way of life that for the last six, or even seven decades or so, we largely believed or at least assumed we had vanquished. We had eradicated terrifying viruses like polio and smallpox and, with the advent of antibiotics, we could largely ignore the overwhelming threat that bacteria had posed in almost every moment of our daily lives.
These were all hard-fought victories achieved by open, enquiring minds and the rigours of the scientific method. And yet, so many of them were...