Today’s a good day for sharing one of my favorite essays:
It was in Ancient Egypt, where it attacked slave and pharaoh alike. In Rome, it effortlessly decimated armies. It killed in Syria. It killed in Moscow. In India, five million dead. It killed a thousand Europeans every day in the 18th century. It killed more than fifty million Native Americans. From the Peloponnesian War to the Civil War, it slew more soldiers and civilians than any weapon, any soldier, any army (Not that this stopped the most foolish and empty souls from attempting to harness the demon as a weapon against their enemies).
Cultures grew and faltered, and it remained. Empires rose and fell, and it thrived. Ideologies waxed and waned, but it did not care. Kill. Maim. Spread. An ancient, mad god, hidden from view, that could not be fought, could not be confronted, could not even be comprehended.
35 years ago, on December 9th, 1979, humanity declared victory.
This one evil, the horror from beyond memory, the monster that took 500 million people from this world – was destroyed.
You are a member of the species that did that. Never forget what we are capable of, when we band together and declare battle on what is broken in the world.
December 9th was when it was first declared eradicated by a group of scientists. Their conclusion was endorsed by the WHO on May 8th, 35 years ago today.
Happy Smallpox Eradication Day, everyone! [stims excitedly]
#smallpox #history #the power of science #proud citizen of The Future