Every year we experience a flu season. But what if all our research into finding a means of avoiding that discomfort reveals how we can ‘customize’ a virus? Chemical and biologic weapons have been used since the First World War. More recently they were used in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. They fall into the category of weapons of mass destruction for good reason. While viral infections can lead to loss of life, for certain infections it can be widespread loss of life. And that is the subject of I Believe in You, a novel that explores not only the effects of such an event on individuals and society, but how it could play out as mankind learns more about how to manipulate biological entities.
The last great pandemic occurred at the same time as that First World War ended, in 1918. It was referred to as The Spanish Flu. While everyone was focused on how many died in the war, and we remember that loss of life, in fact the pandemic took many times the number of lives that were surrendered in the war efforts. Estimates range as high as 30 million. But no one knows for sure as there were no accurate records kept at that time.
"With today’s frequent and rapid international travel and commerce, the barriers to spreading a virus are substantially less..."
And the Spanish Flu rampaged across the globe at a time when international travel was relatively rare and took place in ocean ships that took a month or more to cross the oceans. With today’s frequent and rapid international travel and commerce, the barriers to spreading a virus are substantially less than at that time. It is true that sanitary conditions, lifestyles and medicines go a long way to offset the worst effects of infections. However, when they do take root, they can travel around the globe in a single day without being detected.
So how long will it be until men of ill intentions find a way to create that designer virus or infection that gets carried around the globe and creates the next true Pandemic? And what if that isn’t their end game? What is they are using it all as a means of diverting attention from an even more insidious plot?