Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dying of Natural Causes

Over the last while, an outbreak of influenza has struck British Columbia. Among the victims, myself. As well as some real victims, like the Lower Mainland child that died of the disease.

This got me thinking more about what it means to live in crowded cities where the spread of a common cold or flu (or a deadly, gross fungus) is becoming increasingly normalized.

Population might seem like a non-issue in Canada because of its still somewhat vast wilderness and sparsely populated northern regions.

But, crowding in Canada’s major cities – like Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver – is creating patches of overpopulation.

Let’s be honest. The more ingredients you mix into the pot, the better the chances you’ll get something you didn’t expect.

And disease is just that. It’s the reaction that occurs when too many people intermingle, share germs (and other bodily fluids) and become the carriers (and mutators) of nasty diseases.

Population growth is not something people discuss at the dinner table, but it is one of the biggest impediments towards achieving sustainable communities and cities.

Similarly, it’s one of the main reasons that so many people, plants and animals get sick and die. See: extinction and disease.

There are few definitive solutions to solving the problem of overpopulation and disease, besides relying on modern science to save us when we get sick.

As for me, I think I’ll ride my bike instead of taking the bus. Cough.

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