Is the Corona Virus New?
In the 1970s scientists from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks dug up frozen soils from the Nome area, the area that had been hardest by a diphtheria epidemic in 1925. The rush to get there is commemorated in today’s Iditarod races. They discovered, in the frozen samples, the virus that had caused the epidemic.
But here’s the thing: when the samples were thawed in the laboratory, those viruses were still viable — meaning that they could still infect people — 50 years later.
A news article today, about the Corona virus, got me to thinking. What if this isn’t a new virus at all? It’s been pretty well established that it began in China. In the city of Wuhan, to be exact. Wuhan is located on the Yangtze River, which in turn arises from a Himalayan glacier. And the Yanhgtze has recently flooded.
Stay with me.
What if the receding glacial source of the Yangtze released some ancient viruses that, just like the ones in Alaska, are still viable? And what if, during the flooding, residents of Wuhan were exposed to those same viruses — viruses frozen so long ago that we no longer have our ability to fight them off?
And given the glaciers shrinking all over the world, and the melting Antarctic ice fields, are they releasing even more ancient — yet still viable — viruses? Viruses to which we have never been exposed and therefore have no defenses? Viruses, in fact, we never even knew existed?
Climate scientists, anybody, want to step in with your comments? Is this a viable scenario? Or am I making something out of nothing?
Because I don’t have the spare money, I can’t do it, but if I did, I think I’d invest it in some pharmaceutical stock.