Will Things Ever Improve?
TODAY the World Health Organization and other concerned groups are carrying out disease surveillance and control programs. Various agencies are disseminating information and promoting research into new medicines and new means of control, all in an effort to cope with the growing problem of insect-borne disease. Individuals and communities can also do much to inform and protect themselves. Still, protecting individuals is not the same as controlling disease worldwide.
Many experts believe that global cooperation and trust are vital to the success of disease control. “Rapid globalization of human niches requires that human beings everywhere on the planet go beyond viewing their neighborhoods, provinces, countries, or hemispheres as the sum total of their personal ecospheres,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Laurie Garrett in her book The Coming Plague—Newly Emerging Diseases in a World out of Balance. “Microbes, and their vectors, recognize none of the artificial boundaries erected by human beings.” An outbreak in one country quickly raises concern not only in neighboring countries but around the world.
Some governments and peoples remain suspicious of any form of intervention—even disease-control programs—coming from beyond their borders. In addition, political short-sightedness and commercial greed often hamper unified international efforts. In the struggle of man versus disease, will the microbes gain the upper hand? Author Eugene Linden, who thinks they will, states: “It is very late in the game.”
Reason for Hope
Scientific and technological advances lag far behind in the race against sickness. And, of course, the problem of insect-borne disease is only one of many dangers to human health. But there is reason for hope. Although only beginning to understand the complex relationships among living things, scientists recognize earth’s potential to heal itself. Our planet has built-in mechanisms that can restore balance to natural systems. Forests often grow up on once cleared land, for example, and the relationships among microbes, insects, and animals tend to stabilize over time.
More important, the intricate design of nature points to a Creator, a God who originally set earth’s mechanisms in motion. Many scientists themselves admit that there must be a higher intelligence responsible for earth’s creation. Yes, serious thinkers cannot successfully deny the existence of God. The Bible describes the Creator, Jehovah God, as almighty and loving. He is deeply interested in our happiness.
The Bible also explains that because of the willful sin of the first human, man has inherited imperfection, sickness, and death. Does that mean that we are doomed to suffer indefinitely? No! God’s purpose is to make the earth a paradise, where humans can live comfortably with other creatures, both large and tiny. The Bible foretells a world where no creature, whether a large beast or a tiny insect, will pose a danger to man.—Isaiah 11:6-9.
Of course, man will have a role in maintaining such conditions—socially and ecologically. God charged man to “take care” of the earth. (Genesis 2:15) In a future paradise, man will perfectly accomplish that task by obediently following the directions of the Creator himself. Thus, we can look forward to that day when “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Isaiah 33:24.