The Cool War

Candice eetimesIn his 1981 science fiction novel, The Cool War, Frederik Pohl described a global conflict in which active economic sabotage up to and including biological warfare, not to kill or permanently maim, but to put pressure on the economies of their enemies by pulling workers out sick and to raise their health care expenditures.  In the story, children were deliberately infected with an engineered viral illness and sent on “good-will” tours of the enemy nations.

Today, we find ourselves in an actual, real life cool war with Russia.  However, they have figured out a very clever and inexpensive way to create the desired epidemics – and they don’t even have to bioengineer a new virus.  All they have to do is amplify and spread anti-vaccine propaganda and disinformation via the internet.  Get even a small number of people in the West to refuse or delay vaccination of their children and/or themselves and latent illnesses such as measles and influenza will do the job for them, and its working.    For each child that is sick, a parent stays home from work to tend that child.

Today, we see an epidemic of measles, once thought to be eradicated in the industrialized nations, showing up in pockets of distrustful communities influenced by anti-vaxxer propaganda.  Which disease will be next?

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