Monday, May 18, 2020

Outbreak! Pandemic (Global Prospectives) by Robert Green

Sadka Srichaphan lookd proudly over his city of Bankok. He was proud because he was playing host to students from all over the globe for the International Global Issues Summit.

"It's wonderful," said Asgar Knudsen. "I can't believe how easy it was to get here. I flew directly from Copenhagen. It's amazing how air travel has made the world so small!"

"Do you know," said Sadka, "there's a global traveler even more suited to international travel? This traveler knows no boundaries," he said. "He can travel on a plane without anyone knowing, and he is very hard to stop!"

"He is disease." sad Sadka.

A global conference which brings people from everywhere together is the perfect place to encounter the subject of pandemic, the cosmopolitan phantom at the feast of globalization.

Sadka Srichaphan goes on to describe such a disease. It must be novel, one for which humans have not acquired immunity, and it has to be virulently contagious, spreading quickly and easily through any contact. Epidemics, nationwide diseases, and pandemics, worldwide diseases, he explains, are not new to humans, but common throughout history. Sadka goes on to tell his young scientists to describe several major pandemics of the past century, the 1918 Influenza, incorrectly called "Spanish" Flu (which actually began at a U.S. Army base in Kansas near the end of World War I), spreading to Europe when the troops arrived, some already exposed in the crowded conditions of the troop ship, and finally occurring throughout the world, even Arctic villages, killing 50 million worldwide.

The students also learn about the "Avian Influenza," which initially spread from birds to humans, and then from human to human. The "Bird Flu" luckily proved not to be contagious enough to spread worldwide and was stopped by isolating human victims and destroying infected birds. But another "novel" Corona disease, called SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, soon appeared in Asia and spread to Canada and Europe. It was very nearly a pandemic but the use of masks and isolation eventually stopped its spread.
"It was a very close call," Sadka Srichaphan told his young listeners.

But now another "novel" SARS-type Corona virus, named COVID-19, has come a pandemic. Robert Green's Pandemics (Global Perspectives (Cherry Lake)) (Cherry Lake Publishing) offers readers in the middle grades a brief survey of the history of pandemics and some understanding of the new problems of easy spread and of control of such diseases. Green's account, aimed at preteens and young teens, will involve students in understanding the nature and necessity of worldwide disease control and offers an appendix with glossary, bibliography, maps, and index.

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