Normal life. Today “normal” is so different than it was just a few short weeks ago. All of us want to know how quickly we can–or ever will–go back to the real normal. It seems like everyone agrees that the timeline comes down to one crucial thing…
Almost immediately after the pandemic reached a global scale, people started talking about a potential vaccine. How long will it take to design? How quickly can we manufacture it? How fast can we distribute it? According to experts, the vaccine is probably about 18 months away, even with a hastened process.
But before we start counting down the months, can we take a second to appreciate the situation? None of us asked whether a vaccine was possible, we just wanted to know how quickly we could get it done. We assumed it was possible, because we regularly rely on science to solve our problems and challenges.
It wasn’t always that way. Imagine living in 14th century Europe when the black death arrived. Scholars estimate that 60 percent of the continent’s population died from the disease. People facing this deadly threat didn’t know how the plague spread or how to care for the afflicted. There was no cure, no help, and no vaccine.
Science provides answers in various aspects of our lives, especially in agriculture. The Hawaii papaya is the perfect example. When the ringspot virus arrived in Hawaii, it nearly wiped out the entire industry. But with biotechnology, scientists managed to breed a papaya that was resistant to the virus. Ultimately, the GMO papaya saved the entire industry, and the family farmers growing it.
There are countless other stories. A variety of other ways that science has saved the day. In a time when we’re recognizing heroes, we should take a moment to appreciate all those working behind the scenes to solve every day issues, both in a pandemic and in normal times.