“My dear, In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Where is the next disease pandemic lurking? Will it find us … or will we find it? For decades scientists and virologists were posing these questions.
As Bill Gates pointed out in his 2015 TED talk, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes.” And “we are not ready for the next epidemic”, he concluded then.
“Around the corner, I met Anne Braveman, seventy-nine, and Rita Kahn, eighty-six, who told me they had gone to the movies the week before. It wasn’t some official, prearranged group outing. It was just two friends who decided they wanted to go see The King’s Speech on a Thursday night… A nursing assistant had to agree to join them. Braveman was paralyzed from the waist down due to multiple sclerosis and got around by motorized wheelchair; Kahn was prone to falls and needed a walker. They had to pay the $15 fare for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to take them. But it was possible for them to go. They were looking forward to watching Sex and the City on DVD next.
“Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey yet?” Kahn asked me, impishly.
I allowed, modestly, that I had not.
“I had never heard of chains and that stuff,” she said, marvelling. Had I? she wanted to know.