We’re in it together

mozzie-with-temple-and-churchScientists some times take the idea of focus a bit too far. They focus too much on a certain issue and they get trapped in their own bubble. It takes courage, and sometimes a slight amount of insanity to burst that bubble and look at the bigger picture.

Malaria is a devastating disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. Malaria can only be transmitted through mosquitoes. Seems obvious to most that eliminating the mosquitoes would solve that problem, and it actually might very well do solve it. Scientists have been working for decades on a potent poison that could kill all the malaria transmitting mosquitoes but to no avail; there are still just as many mosquitoes now as there have ever been.

However, let’s think about it from the mosquito’s point of view. Malaria is a devastating disease that causes the death of millions of mosquitoes every year. Malaria can only be transmitted through human beings.

A rogue mosquito might suggest that eradicating all human beings could stop the spread of the disease amongst its own species, but it will also fail, just like humans did in the past. One mosquito would think, only if humans could find a medicine that eliminates malaria in their own ranks, our lives would be spared too.

Humans didn’t yet find an effective cure for malaria in humans. But they might be looking in the wrong place. Maybe, finding a cure for malaria in mosquitoes  is simply much easier than curing humans suffering malaria. Eliminate Malaria in mosquitoes and it will spontaneously disappear among humans. Killing mosquitoes didn’t work. Helping them out in their own fight against Malaria might very well do – and then we would have eradicated the disease.

Sometimes we need to help our worst enemy to achieve peace in our and their communities. This doesn’t only apply to our dynamic with mosquitoes, but with each other as a human race too.

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