Posts Tagged ‘Unseen Enemy’


March 30, 2020

At the suggestion of a friend, Popie and I watched “Unseen Enemy,” a documentary made in 2017 about epidemics and pandemics. It blitzes through the scourges of recent years: AIDS, SARS, MERS, Zika, swine flu, Ebola, influenza—and more!–and gives a good, simple explanation of how outbreaks (which are inevitable) occur, how they become epidemics and then global pandemics.

It’s a competent and interesting documentary, but what makes it eerie is its prophetic description of what’s coming next. Quoting epidemiologists, the film says that we are virtually certain to suffer a deadly pandemic within the next ten to twenty years. It details the responses that will be necessary: testing, tracing, massive early response, search for a vaccine. And, again quoting epidemiologists, it predicts that our response will be inadequate, because of a lack of preparation fed by public mistrust of government and the consequent underfunding of the forces meant to respond. It predicts exactly what we are living through.

If the test of a true prophet is whether their predictions come true, the epidemiologists are true prophets.