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Viruses Before Science
Viruses and humanity have had a long standing battle together, starting (we can assume) from the dawn of history, right up until the present day.
Viruses have always been a component of our struggle to survive, and undoubtedly, before the discovery of microscopes and modern medical science, viruses remained somewhat of a mystery to all of us.
Although we have no direct evidence, we can assume that many of the traumatic plagues inflicted upon humanity were the cause of viral infections, transmitted by whatever cause through vast amounts of population. Due to the nature of viral transmission, infection and contagion, viruses dominated humanity in its attempt to prolong the living experience. Before the advent of vaccinations in modern medical science, viruses seems totally incurable, dominating life and ultimately causing great pain and disorder among living species.
Viral outbreaks were often declared to be acts of god cast upon the heathen unbelievers. Humans, very early on, decided that viral outbreaks were not only beyond their control, but also entirely inexplicable, and therefor beyond rational understanding. Ergo, a 'valid' attempt was made to explain viruses in terms of the unknown, by which humanity bore a relatively great amount of fear and misunderstanding due to its own lack of knowledge in the field.
Although much of this has changed due to modern medical science, humanity still fears the virus to such a degree that it is often willing to 'sacrifice' members of its own kind to prevent the fears of outbreak and transmission. Despite our abi8lity to contain an control these phenomena, human beings are still petrified of the virus, and quite probably, for good reason.