Some people are overlooking the point that the great concern isn't that we'll have 2 billion people who get the H1N1 that's been going around
lately. The real concern is that this virus will mutate into a far deadlier strain when it reappears in the Fall. This is what is worrisome. This
is what the virus did in the Great Pandemic.
*IF* this virus mutates as feared, then the whole nature of the illness changes. Ordinary flu is most dangerous to the very old and the very young,
and people whose immune systems have been impaired. The flu they're worried about has this concern, but also the concern that it will trigger off
what is called a "cytokine storm
" in healthy people, causing their bodies's immune systems
to attack their own tissues. That's what kills the healthy, young people - their own, robust immune systems.
The reason why this is considered frightening is because scientists don't have any solid understanding about what it is that made the Pandemic flu so
deadly - what mutation it was that caused peoples's immune systems to turn against the body. They can't predict whether this will happen in this
coming epidemic, because they don't have enough information. They're seeing the similarities to the Pandemic flu, and they're scared.
This is almost certainly not some sort of deliberately-created virus intended to kill millions of people to depopulate the earth. It's not
particularly effective. Even if we have a complete reappearance of the deadly pandemic of 1918, the population won't decrease that much. Almost
everyone survived the Pandemic. Almost everyone will survive this one, should it come.
To put it into perspective. The Black Plague may have killed more people than H1N1 did in 1918; but Plague took decades to do it, over 100 years.
The Pandemic killed most of its victims in a few months. Had that Pandemic continued on a yearly basis, then it would have been much worse than the
Plague by now. But it didn't. If killed millions, then it went away. And we don't know why it did either.
I would maybe go with it being "man-made", in the sense that our vast farming of meat animals almost guarantees that diseases will flash through the
animals and eventually cross over to us. Acres upon acres of animals (swine, chickens, cattle) crowded in filthy, unhealthy conditions, is extremely
dangerous to us. Any organism that infects one animal, can infect millions. It's a perfect breeding ground for disease, and we are vulnerable to
some of those diseases.
You *could* say it's Nature's response to our subjecting so many hundreds of millions of animals to such inhumane conditions. We create a diseased,
horrific condition, and it sickens not only our animals, but ourselves.