Experts say we are "due" for one. When it happens, they tell us, it will probably have a greater impact on humanity than anything else currently happening in the world.Story here.
And yet, like with most people, it is probably something you haven't spent much time thinking about. After all, it is human nature to avoid being consumed by hypotheticals until they are staring us squarely in the face.
Such is the case with a highly lethal flu pandemic. And when it comes, it will affect every human alive today.
Pandemic flu is apolitical and does not discriminate between rich and poor. Geographical boundaries are meaningless, and it can circle the globe within hours. In terms of potential impact on mankind, the only thing that comes close is climate change. And, like climate change, pandemic flu is so vast, it can be challenging to wrap your head around it.
Interesting. I've read about the Spanish Flu. We've all heard the scares with the Avian Flu in China but a modern day pandemic?
How do you wargame that? How do you wargame a global catastrophe not based on arms but a virus?
With globalization as it is, we'll see every major nation affected. Thinking a bit more about this thing it could even alter the course of nations and realign military power.
China due to its density could be all but destroyed. Same for portions of the US (thinking the Northeast corridor, California, major parts of Florida and probably every major city in between). Europe would be dog snot. The bureaucracy would be too slow to react (much slower than even the US and because of the setup individual countries would be waiting for a signal from Brussels). Major parts of Russia would be trashed...only the frontier regions would probably survive.
A flu pandemic would probably wreck the civilized world. Although I can see some faring better than others. Japan, S. Korea, Singapore would all be hit hard but survive. Having seen them don medical grade masks during past outbreaks I think they're more alert to the dangers. Australia? Living on the ass end of the world has its benefits. Who might rise to new heights? Maybe Brazil. They're far enough away, are advanced enough and have internal security forces already established to weather the storm. They might be the big winners when the world gets back on its feet after the next pandemic.