Contagion part 1
The Dance of Death
1. Introduction 2.The Plague ... to be continued
Mankind has defeated all comers in the struggles we have had with the animal kingdom – no sabre-tooth tiger, crocodile or shark has been able to stall the Ascent of man … except perhaps our microscopic competitors; pathogens in the form of a virus, bacteria or God forbid, fungus. Throughout our history these miniscule machines of death have destroyed huge numbers of people across the planet. And we, humans, seem to positively encourage their many successes with our move to urbanisation, our migrations, our wars. Pestilence and plague seem to follow our every geopolitical convulsion. These crafty pathogens find any convenient vector to invade our fragile bodies – they are in the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breath.
From the distant past to the present day ‘Plagues’ have been sawing at the trunk of human progress: in this episode we take a tour through their greatest hits. Pity the poor Pangolin.
so it goes,
Tom Assheton and James Jackson
Reading by David Hartley - The Black Death, 1348, Henry Knighton
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