This blog has been on my mind for a long time. I thought of it and then gave up, because I thought it became less relevant as the global affairs slowly opened up and people started becoming more mobile. However, with new recent news of a new virus variant reported by South Africa, the same stream of thought clogged my mind. Let me share and vent off!!
How do people normally die? If we talk to older and wise people, they say that those who die naturally normally die of pneumonia. Pneumonia is caused by micro-organisms like virus and bacteria. They induce infection in our body, which is indicated by fever, breathlessness and lung infection which results in end to the life. This is like slow organ failure. More like a war, which is normally won by the microbes and lost by the human life. I am sure, most of the readers would guess, where this blog is going..
There is a close connection between microbes and humans. Experts believe about half of all human DNA originated from viruses that infected and embedded their nucleic acid in our ancestors’ egg and sperm cells. Microbes occupy all of our body surfaces, including the skin, gut, and mucous membranes. In fact, our bodies contain at least 10 times more bacterial cells than human ones, blurring the line between where microbes end and humans begin. Microbes occupy certain parts of our body (like the gut, liver etc) and establish their colonies. These colonies help the human body by offering beneficial roles; for example, microbes synthesize vitamins, break down food into absorbable nutrients, and stimulate our immune systems. And what do they get in return? They get to establish themselves and flourish inside our body. It is a synergistic arrangement and a positive collaboration. Now this becomes a “tendency” or “prakruti” of our body and therefore, these microbes have found their place in our DNA as well..!! They transfer to new generations as well.. and hence they are integral part of humans..! Therefore, if you have a diabetic tendency, for example, your next generation will also tend to have the same.
As the person ages, the immune system is not that strong. The functions of various organs also slow down and then these resident organisms find it hard to survive in less-balanced environment. Cough and fever is the starting point, after which, these microbes start to multiply. External agencies (like hospital infections) also help them for their rapid growth and slowly they take control of the total body, occupy the lungs and person dies. This is like “Population Inversion” phenomenon which we study for Lasers..
What is the message here… I think it is this that a perfect balanced physical body has microbes which are like “Heroes”, helping the body to do well, remain healthy and do the functions with best output. The same “Heroes” become “Villains”, as they find feeble organs and lesser nutrition to thrive on. They then take control of the internal organs and result in disaster. The mission is then to fund another host… However, not to forget, they have already sent their signatures and representatives in the next generation… It is a cycle…!!! New offspring is born with certain tendencies which are hereditary..!!
Now let us see the Mother Earth..!! Let us imagine it without humans. It is a perfect system. Microbes are in the environment and in the ground soil. They thrive on animals and plants. They decompose certain food (like dead leaves and animals), which enrich the soil. They help nitrogen cycle, they fix the carbon-dioxide and help in natural degradation of all those entities which are dead, to convert them into basic entities like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. This is synergy, which keeps the earth rich, alive and very vibrant.
Humans are a part of all this. They are supposed to live with basic amenities which are food, shelter and clothing. And earth gives them these things in abundance. However, humans are greedy and search for more. Technological advances have created much havoc. Huge earth excavations have given tremendous stress to the foundation of the planet. Large forests have been cut and biodiversity is widely affected. Automobiles and their pollution have changed the environmental air ratios. Natural resources are being depleted. Cement and concrete is prohibiting basic breathing mechanism of soil. Well, this is not new. We know this, but we refuse to “feel it”.
There is a bigger challenge, further ahead. Humans are also like microbial colonies. Each human being is nurtured in specific environment and hence, with specific genetic material. Their “Tendencies” are highly dependent upon their ambiance (both culturally and spatially). The ecological balance is also set. However, with huge advances and globalizations, people move to various regions and different countries. They carry their tendencies also. As they interact with people, nature and other entities in the new environment, their internal systems also are subjected to a different environment. In the efforts to cope-up (with different food and weather and external stimuli), new variants are propagated. The resultant variants, so generated have a hybrid colony culture, which is hard to imagine. Probably the microbes mutate in this way..!! They develop natural resistant to a new ambiance and hence they survive. Humans are thus responsible for these mutations. They get added inside the human and inside the planet. The behavior of these variants is quite unpredictable. Further, the ecological cycle is disrupted as well; the natural environment is then not able to take care of these new variants, which start occupying different colonies, in different animals, plants and humans. Before a medical expert is able to “see” these and act upon them, these microbes “take over”! Migration, pollution, skewed carbon footprint, de-forestation and extreme earth and sea excavations makes the planet weak. The effects are untimely rains, increase in sea level, and decrease in water levels (at some other places), temperature variations, pollution and decreased vegetation. We slowly approach population inversion..!!!
Who is the first victim? It is the nature. With the tremendous effects on its basic ecology, the planet suffers due to deprived air, water and rich soil resources. This is a signature of “diseased nature”, which is slowly controlled by unknown strains of microbes. These strains if leave their harmonious nature and expand their colonies, the nature, who is the mother of humans, will struggle for its existence. This will, ofcourse take a long time… But just as a diseased body cannot hold life, a diseased planet cannot hold human life (any life, for that matter). Humans may become extinct in such a scenario and only after that the nature may then get a breather… out of industrialization, excavations and pollutions. It may reboot itself, and humans may need thousands of centuries to reboot.
We still have time. We can avoid this by mindful industrialisation and growths. Green energy is hence so important. We may not (which we should) care for mother earth… but even if we care for our survival, we can help and avoid microbial propagation and stop viral growth and contain the variants. We have to stop the variants becoming a part of Earth’s DNA.
Life inside the human body and life on this earth is not different.. and it’s horrible to get extinct… Let us take care.. Remember Dinosaurs???
Useful Links: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209710/