Ecology And Plague Essay

Ecology is a branch of science concerned with the interrelationships of
organisms and their environment. An ecosystem is a community, together with its
nonliving factors existing together. Scientifically, a community consists of a
collection of creatures that live in a particular place together. The Coming
Plague was a novel that outlined how each epidemic has been a direct result of
each step of human progression. The diseases covered in layman’s terms were
Machupo, Marburg, Yellow Fever, Meningitis, Lassa Fever, Ebola, Swine, Flu,
Legionaire’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Hantavirus, Malaria,
Seal Plague, Tuberculosis and Cholera. Humans have not been exempt from the
catastrophic results of a disruption in atmosphere nor disruption of the food
chain. By humans viewing themselves master, their methodology in progression has
resulted in devastation. The discovery that most epidemics were bacterial or
parasitic came only after a campaign in 1955. Dr. Jonus Salkis established the
Polio Vaccine and Americans felt as though nothing could go wrong in terms of
health. By 1963 everything fell apart; developing countries such as India
contributed as much as 1/3 of their budgets towards Malaria control. Also during
that period of “Health Transition” diverse plant life yielded effects of
pesticides and the long term results were overwhelmed with destructive insects.

Consequently, resistance amongst insects increased significantly. By the
1970’s society acknowledged that there was a direct effect of pollutants on
human existence. At that point it was recognized that environmental destruction
could not be corrected within a time frame that contemporary humans would
witness at their rate of progression, the analogy used for human survival was
the Cretaceous period dinosaur die-off. The time had come to look at ecology
beginning at the macro-level in order to allow nature to run its course and
avoid any further destruction for the sake of progress. Even still the issues
were even greater than global awareness and cleaning. In 1981 the emergence of
the human immunodeficiency virus was seen as an indication of things to come.

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Humans had learned little from prior diseases; response and reaction to new
microbes that attack the defensive weapons used to protect human beings, was no
greater than thirty years before. The initial responses being that ignoring the
severity of the new microbe would have made it go away. The author provided a
chronological summary of the emergence of new microbes and the research methods
implemented in order to isolate the source as well as the support or lack of
from society. The book was informative and easy reading, while heightening
awareness about the ecosystem and the human role. The author was successful in
capturing attention and maintaining interest through simple accounting of
events. The emotions of those involved were given as the events were presented
and the actual research was detailed and well incorporated. Surprisingly, The
Coming Plague was enjoyable and intense. At each new search for the source of an
epidemic there was anticipation of what the cause was that particular time. The
only aversion with the book was the paranoia that I have developed. The book
struck an interest to learn more about the ecosystem and made me aware that
learning need not be agonizing.


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