Recent politics have reminded me of the concerns over Nuclear war when I was a kid. From my research I was amazed at the number of dates predicting the end of the world. Everything from 66 AD to 7.59 billion years time so I guess we should be alright for a while yet. 😀
Everyone was apprehensive about the big red button, concerned which one of the militant leaders would be the first to call the bluff of the other zealots.
It didn’t work out like that.
It wasn’t global warming, conflict, the loss of the bees, nuclear warfare, or any of the myriad of other 21st century concerns which caused the final destruction.
The first signs were not even recognised as being serious. The inhabitants of the western world started suffering stomach upsets; nothing unusual there with the amount of chemicals in manufactured food. Then reports began to come in of diarrhoea and sickness in the African nations, which was put down to the usual dirty water and lack of hygiene.
At first the minor disruptions were irritating rather than worrying; the long queues at the doctors, the delayed trains, the Internet going down, the lack of supplies in the shops as delivery drivers and packers succumbed to what was suspected as being a virus.
Sales of available disinfectant and medicines shot through the roof, as did the price of whatever food could be found. Cheap and cheerful tinned goods became like gold dust, even when past their sell-by date.
Reports came in of farms being raided in the hope that organic food would have escaped whatever it was that was causing the problem in the food chain. The remains of slaughtered animals were found in the countryside as it was believed fresh meat wouldn’t have been contaminated.
If you’ve ever suffered from a severe stomach upset you’ll know that it affects the whole of your body. Your brain finds it difficult to function and the simplest task becomes impossible. So it was that the services we take for granted gradually began to disintegrate. Power cuts became commonplace, street lights no longer worked encouraging muggings and burglaries, mob rule took over.
The world succumbed, not with a bang but with a whimper as all communication was lost and each individual struggled to survive. Some did, although there seemed to be no logic in who won the battle and who lost. My fit, healthy family perished while I, with the cancer diagnosis hanging over me, survived.
Over the years the need for human company overcame the distrust that had grown up between friends and neighbours. Small communities became established and pooled their talents to contribute to the well-being of their fellows. The strength of the young was combined with the experience of their elders and mutual respect developed. Some died from natural causes, but babies were born who seemed immune to the sickness.
It’s a very different world now, but perhaps, just perhaps, we will have learned something from the mistakes of our ancestors and be able to build a better future.
© Voinks November 2016