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July 08, 2003

28 Days Later

A brief but interesting review of 28 Days Later written by a renowned virologist:

"As we near the end of the movie, it seems the main British Isle is effectively under global quarantine with the sinister implication that the rest of the world likes it that way. After another 28-day interval, everyone who was infected is presumed dead, and a few exhausted, amiable survivors begin life anew in an England restored to its pastoral virginity [...]

"However superficially soothing, there is something troubling about this comfortable conclusion. It implies that we might be better off with epidemics that can end abruptly and definitively than we are with the insidious plagues that now afflict us. Wouldn't it be simpler if we had clear knowledge of who is infected and who isn't? Or if we could eliminate the long incubation times that allow foreigners and strangers to carry their unannounced pathogens to us on planes and boats? Wouldn't it be better if we could confine AIDS and Ebola to Africa and SARS to Hong Kong, and then return to repair society once the microbial damage was done done, of course, to others and not to us?"

Nobel prize winner Harold Varmus, current president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Posted by dpwakefield at July 8, 2003 10:33 PM


The link to 28 Days Later doesn't work.

Posted by: Kathryn Cramer at July 9, 2003 08:59 AM

Thanks. It's fixed.

Posted by: Don Wakefield at July 9, 2003 12:56 PM