The future belongs to colds

Mrs. Q, CJ, and I are all battling a vicious cold, the champion of all the rhinoviri locked in Darwinian struggle at CJ’s daycare. We’ve all been sick for a week with no recovery in sight.

This made me think of a good conceit for a science-fiction movie. It’s easy to imagine evolutionary pressure producing a species of endemic, non-lethal, antibiotic-resistant bacteria that colonize the upper respiratory tract. In other words, in the future, everyone has a cold for their entire life.

It’s actually interesting to think about what the effects on society would be. Some would be trivial (boxes of tissue everywhere; increased popularity of very strong-smelling and spicy food, the only kind people can really taste; renaissance of instrumentals in pop music since singing has become essentially impossible) and some serious (increased infant mortality, easier spreading of more dangerous bugs with the whole population coughing all the time.)

Any more?

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4 thoughts on “The future belongs to colds

  1. Steve says:

    Jessie says that in our house THE FUTURE IS NOW.

  2. Em says:

    I totally agree with Jessie.

  3. What if we already all have some common disease ? In a spiritual sense at least, this is a basic idea for quite a few of the world’s religions…

  4. John Cowan says:

    In Harry Turtledove’s sf novel Earthgrip, an alien species called the Foitani decided a good while back that humans might some day become dangerous to them, so they dropped a suitably tailored virus in our atmosphere, one which evolved too quickly for humans to become immune to it, expecting it to wipe us out. Then they had a lot of extremely destructive civil wars and never came back to check. Somehow we (including your family, evidently) learned to live with the virus, despite its rapid evolution….

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