New Eden – Who survives a pandemic?

New Eden – Who survives a pandemic?

We are very fortunate with the current Coronavirus pandemic; it only kills around 2% of the population, and they tend to be (though not always) the elderly or weaker members. Many pandemics are far more deadly. Bubonic plague killed off between 50% and 70% of the population, and Smallpox at least 20%. It is not inconceivable to have a new virus that kills 99.9% of the population.

In my story, New Eden, a government creates a deadly virus to wipe out the excess population.

The theory of evolution is widely misunderstood. It revolves around the selection of the fittest. The fittest are not always the strongest, most intelligent, the fastest or those with skills; they could be the slowest, most stupid, or the weakest. For example – faced with a terrible predator the one who faints might be left alone while those who fight or run away might be killed. The survivor selected might be the weakest member of the group.

Surviving a virus is mostly a question of luck. It is not whether you are clever, fit or healthy; it is merely whether you have the right antibodies to neutralise the disease. This is a quirk of fate.

So, evolution does not always produce bigger, stronger, fitter and more intelligent offspring. It produces offspring more suited to survive.

If a fatal virus was to wipe out most people on the planet the survivors would be the ones with natural immunity. They could be a group of people with a particular genetic ‘disorder’.

In 1986 I took this basic premise and wove it into a story. It is the story of courage, bravery, intrigue, misuse of power and hope. It has redemption, joy and tragedy.

It is also a story that could easily come true.

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