Today I’d like to take a moment to rant about viruses. Yeah, I know – everybody hates them. But this is how I handle things that are just driving me crazy – I blog about them! So I’d like to borrow a line from War (huh! What is it good for? absolutely nothing!) and ask the same question about viruses.
Right at the moment I happen to be suffering from a really unpleasant malady called pleurisy – an inflammation of the outer lining of the lungs, which causes all kinds of muscle pain, breathing problems, and just plain misery – caused by, you guessed it, a virus. One I didn’t even know existed. Then there’s AIDS, flu, herpes, chickenpox, encephalitis, mononucleosis, polio, meningitis, rabies, SARS, yellow fever, west Nile fever, hepatitis, measles, mumps, hemorrhagic fever (!), and I could go on and on. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget cervical cancer.
So what’s my point here? Just this – what are viruses for? Everything else, even those annoying mosquitoes and various other pesky critters, have their place in the food chain or some point for their existence. If you eradicated them, things would change in various ways, not all for the better. According to Wikipedia, some viruses reproduce without any apparent harm to their host organisms, but it says nothing about WHAT they’re doing or whether there is EVER any beneficial effect from any virus to any organism.
Technically speaking, they’re not even alive. Basically, they’re just little bits and pieces of once normal biological systems that have somehow run amok and turned into evil little self-replicating nano-robots that cause no end of misery. It’s hard to imagine how there could be so MANY of them with such terrible consequences to the human body (and animals, and even plants).
So I say, death and destruction to all viruses!! Without guilt, I think. Now can we take all that money we spend on war and get busy on this, please?