In “Little Dorritt“, Charles Dickens makes some surprising observations about a strain of Influenza, still spreading, still infecting, that humankind chooses to ignore. Dickens explains it here:
“…it is…as difficult to stay a moral infection as a physical one…
…such a disease…will spread with the malignity and rapidity of the Plague...
[and]…the contagion, when it has once made head, will spare no pursuit or condition, but will lay hold on people in the soundest health, and become developed in the most unlikely constitutions…
[this is]…a fact as firmly established by experience as [the fact] that we human creatures breathe an atmosphere.”
And from there Dickens goes on the say:
“A blessing beyond appreciation would be conferred upon mankind, if the tainted, in whose weakness or wickedness these virulent disorders are bred, could be instantly seized and placed in close confinement (not to say summarily smothered) before the poison is communicable.”
Of course, even though the disease is far more rampant today than it was in Dickens’ time, ‘smothering’ is not the kind of archaic cure that modern society would ever consider. We have only those few local governments that still call for a death penalty for the sickest of the sick. For the rest, a shot in the arm, immunization of the yet still uninfected, is all we can hope for, to effect a cure.
But the problem is, that for scientists to create a vaccination, they need weakened or dead vestiges of the ‘organism’ that initially caused the disease, and where can that be found?
Certainly not in woods or fields. Certainly not in fowl of the air, or fish in the sea. There are no creatures of land or water or air who have the self-same evil strain of the moral influenza flagrant among people.
And in humans, the murderers, perverts, and predators, never fully recover enough (despite rehabilitation programs), for the microbes within to weaken or die in order that these same microbes can be extracted from framework or phlegm and used as an effective base for immunization.
There are no weakened or withered vestiges of the evil that corrupts our government, theatres, television screens, churches, cities, or even isolated communities to be found. All causal microbes are alive and well.
So with immunization out of the question, see what a hopeless situation we are in.
Nothing for it…short of Dickens’ suggestion… “summarily (meaning immediately and without attention to formality) …smothering!”