- LIFE SITE NEWS - Jeffrey A. Tucker - JAN 3, 2022 -
Take away the knowledge of natural immunity, and thus the realization that there can be a better life on the other side of sickness, and you leave people with existential emptiness and a lasting sense of despair.
Every sick child, and probably every adult at some point, asks that existential question: why am I suffering?
No answer is satisfying. To be sick is to feel vulnerable, weak, not in control, not in the game. Life is chugging along outside of your room. You can hear laughter, cars going here and there, people out and about. But you are stuck, shivering under blankets, appetite disrupted, and struggling to remember what it was like to feel healthy.
With fever, all of this is worse because the capacity for one’s brain to process information with full rationality is deprecated. High fever can induce a form of brief insanity, even involving hallucinations. You imagine things that are not true. You know that but can’t shake it off. The fever breaks and you find yourself in a pool of sweat, and your hope is that somewhere in this mess the bug has left you.
For children, it is a scary experience. For adults too, when it lasts long enough.
From the depths of the suffering, people naturally look for a source of hope. When is recovery? And what can I expect once that happens? Where is the meaning and the purpose behind the ordeal?
For a conventional respiratory virus, and for many other pathogens, generations have known that there is a silver lining to the suffering. Your immune system has undergone a training exercise. It is encoding new information. That is information your body can use to be healthier in the future. It is now prepared to fight off a similar pathogen in the future.
From the depths of suffering, this realization provides that much-needed source of hope. You can look forward to a better, healthier life on the other side. You will now confront the world with a shield. That dangerous dance with pathogens has been won for at least this particular virus. You can enjoy a stronger and healthier you in the future.
For generations, people understood this. Particularly in the 20th century, when knowledge of natural immunity became more sophisticated, along with the documentation of herd immunity, this became culturally entrenched.
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