The Cobra Event addressed an area of science that I have given much thought to. Viruses are fascinating; the mystery of their complex existence continues to baffle scientists who search for deeper understanding. Viruses have been at the center of a constant debate in the science community, arguing whether they are, in fact, living or not. It is as equally interesting as it is scary how people have the ability to alter one of the most confusing and deadly components of the environment. The Cobra Event further fueled and educated my interest on this topic, as well as enlightened me on how much of a threat these bio weapons and viruses themselves can be. As humans continue to unveil more of this earth we inhabit, more viruses are discovered. This poses the thought that there could be countless more out there. The virus chimera of the Cobra Event, was a virus that appeared to be overlooked by scientists as harmless to humans. It was a virus that seemed to affect only the insect world. This virus, fictionally, combined with strands of the common cold virus produced this chimera strain of a brain virus, killing its victims in a matter of days.
Genetically combining viruses was a completely new topic to me. The way viruses could be manipulated or combined to change and enhance traits was captivating. It comes with possibilities of the good it could do, and the evil it could create. The modified chimera strain in the story like real viruses affected each species of animal differently. It was terminal in humans, but it could infect rodents, who became carriers, but did not die from it. This concept is impressive as well as frightening knowing such deadly viruses can secretly live on. Viruses have played a vast role in our lives. We constantly fret about sanitation and vaccination hoping to keep those foreign bodies away from ours. We hear the news stories about the outbreaks and see the advertisements pushing us to get our seasonal vaccines. I never thought a virus could be that harmful to me. I live in a developed country where I don’t sleep next to my cows. I have immediate health care, and I wash my hands scrupulously. After reading the Cobra Event, I have come to the realization that viruses can affect you from almost anywhere, no matter how many precautions you take.
Canned food, a simple cough, and as the book addressed, a bio weapon crystal nonchalantly dropped into a subway are all places these “borrowed life” forms can reach you. Not really being alive, viruses can idle and wait for the perfect victim. This makes them hard to control and almost impossible to get rid of. This story line, as well as the flesh-eating bacteria stories popping up on the news, regarding the threat these little creatures pose on us did produce a mild, short state of fear in me. These viruses are a complex hazard of nature we face, capable of the unthinkable, and infecting the unexpected. The threat that viruses have on our lives appears minuscule compared to the possibility that bio weaponry has presented. As shown in the story line, one man was capable of killing thousands using bio weapons. With the modern genetic science of today, a country could easily end all of humanity. The combining of virus strands makes the frightening opportunity even more severe. It presents the possibility that if they were released to nature, they could change and evolve on their own. The changing viruses would out of the hands of scientists and become a threat bigger than humans can handle.
When looking at the extreme problems bio weaponry could create, it stresses the need for strict safety precautions to be taken when dealing with viruses and countries that pose the threat of bio weaponry. Creating bio weaponry is a serious risk that humans took and we must use extreme caution when dealing with this deadly hazard. The key conflict of the Cobra Event was more than the viruses and bio weaponry, it explored the desire one concerned person had to make a dent in the population. Overpopulation has taken a major toll on the environment, as expressed by Archimedes in the book. He took immediate, fear-provoking action to deal with this issue that he saw in the world. This goes back to the concept that one driven person could be capable of killing thousands with the use of bio weaponry. Bio weaponry is not really a threat until someone has an ambition to use it, and it could get unthinkably out of hand. Viruses and bio weaponry are a frightening topic all together. They are a part of nature that needs to be cautiously maintained and, hopefully, never used on a large scale. The human race has little knowledge of what could happen when viruses come to the front line.