Friday, 19 April 2013

What Could Bring About the Apocalypse? Part Two - Germ Warfare

While I think germ warfare is very similar to a virus, and is in fact, a virus, the method of delivery is much different. Rather than it accidentally escaping into society, the disease or virus is thrust upon it.

These kind of stories work well, especially when global tension is as high as it is now. With terror attacks featuring predominantly in the media, the possibility of a bomb being 'dirty' seems plausible.

During The Cold War, the paranoia about nuclear war was at an all time high. It could happen at any time. With the memory of the Second World War still fairly fresh in the eighties, the thoughts of more air raids was a very real worry. Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows shows how the older generation, who have memories of times of conflict, could possibly react to nuclear war. It's beautifully depressing and well worth reading / watching.

An attack like this could happen while we slept in our beds, or while out shopping with the family. It's this uncertainty that makes it truly terrifying. We could be eating fast food one minute and then melting onto formica tables the next. Cockroaches and every piece of food made by McDonalds would be the only things left in tact.

With The West's insistence on stamping their dominance on the world, and with attacks like September the eleventh and the most recent bombings in Boston, that fear has resurfaced. North Korea have proven that they can send a bomb over to The States, so why not put a little dose of smallpox in it?

We have little control over our government's actions, yet we may have to pay the ultimate price for them. We selectively stamp out regimes because of how they operate, while leaving others because dominating their country has no gain for us. Do we care how people are treated if their country doesn't have oil? Surely some parts of the world believe that our removal would be for the greater good? Would the fact that The States and Britain are islands be enough to keep the attack localised? Would it inspire those inclined to send a disease our way in the hope that the seas would contain them?

A fear of disease has gripped humans for centuries, especially in the past when medical science was much less advanced. But are we now more fearful of a malicious attack since the US of A demonstrated what a nuclear weapon could do when they dropped one on Hiroshima?

Germ warfare is a great premise for an apocalypse story. How could we avoid a disease dropped on our doorsteps? I suppose it's all down to how it spreads. If the disease is passed through bodily fluids, maybe staying the hell away could keep us safe?