All About Diseases—Somethings

COVID, Black Plague, TB, and much more.

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💡Something I learned

Disease & Society

You‘d think that after 3+ years of a global pandemic, it would be common wisdom that diseases drive human civilization. For example, the early western missionaries to the America’s encountered a large indigenous population. The second wave saw small tribes. Because diseases that the Europeans had developed immunity destroyed these societies.

Diseases affect the world in both the micro and macro scales. Gavrilo Princip was suffering from ‘incurable’ TB when he decided to shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Which set into motion the first world war.

However, the reaction to the post-COVID world is rather disheartening. People seem to regard the pandemic years as a collective form of hand-wringing. People have forgotten the images of funeral pyres from India, or the devastation in the US. Mitigation methods are being referred to as overkill. We seem to have learned all the wrong lessons from society.

📕Something to read

  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: This book is often maligned as promoting Geographic Determinism. There are many valid arguments for and against it. However, it is a great layman’s look at how certain cultures and societies conquer, while others don’t. Namely, the role geography plays in propagation of technology, culture and diseases.

🔉Something to listen

Tick Tock

I have been scratching myself all over after listening to be. Ticks are scarier than any mythical monster or horror you can think of. The amount of disease they carry and the ease with which they can infect you is shocking.

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🗣Some Quotes and Notes

Not so Fun Guy

In 2014, The Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan encountered a mysterious illness. it turns out to be a fungal blood infection of candia auris, previously benign fungus that couldn’t even survive at . The US CDC was brought in to the investigation. The findings showed yet another horrifying consequence of anthropogenic climate change.

Eventually, the researchers were able to piece together the grim conclusion that it wasn’t the farmers, it wasn’t transmission, it was the temperature. The world over, heat waves had struck, raising temperatures to the triple digits for days in a row. Every day that it’s harder for a normal fungi to survive, is another layer of concentrated antibiotic training it. The weather was training a killer.

— Connor Tabbarok, Mushrooms, Global Warming, and the next Pandemic

The Yips

From diseases of the body to one of the mind. What happens when you think about a basic action too much. You get “The Yips”. So much so, you can’t perform that action in a functional manner.

All serious athletes know the yips are possible, that they happen to people. But knowing something abstractly is different from knowing it experientially. Once you’ve known the yips personally, you can’t un know them. Every time you toss a tennis ball for the rest of your life, you’ll know what could happen. How can you regain confidence when you know that confidence is just a varnish painted atop human frailty?

— John Green, The Yips(from the Anthropocene Reviewed)

Thank you for joining me this week. If you know some who might enjoy this, please forward this email to them. See you next week.

Mudassir Chapra

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