The plight of people,  stuff, and things

In the process of living, there’s one factor that quickly becomes apparent from the time of our earliest abilities to rationalize. It’s the understanding there will come the fateful day that everyone and everything will eventually need healing, repairing and/or replacing…from people to products. Whether it’s due to an accident, some other type mishap, or the simple passing of time, all things that have beginning must meet with an end.

Years ago, consumers would be exceptionally pleased with a vehicle’s overall performance if it sustained them for anywhere in the neighborhood of a hundred thousand miles. That would have in times past been considered a good automobile as the odometers of most were only designed to accommodate a total of nine hundred, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine (999,999) miles. Beyond that, a vehicle’s engine would be considered as having “turned over” in that the mileage counter then started over at zero.

Even considering the extensive mileage a motor vehicle might be able to travel throughout its life span, one still has to deal with the external engine components. Such parts consist of things like the carburetor, starter, alternator, etc. which are required to simply start the engine prior to engaging the transmission which is necessary to move the vehicle either forward or backward.

External engine parts periodically break or malfunction and need replacement, but most don’t adversely affect the internal workings of the engine. This substantiates an entire industry which was spawned by the need for additional automobile parts. Retail suppliers such as AutoZone, Advanced Auto Parts, and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts are just a few entities sustained by consumers’ need to repair their vehicles. This makes it possible for everyone from every day Joe, the “shade tree” mechanic, to licensed professional garages to complete automobile repairs.

Much like vehicles, tools, and machinery, man is often in need of “repair” as well. The current pandemic provides an unfortunate, but vivid, example of our species’ volatility. A number of medical concerns have plagued mankind since shortly after his coming into existence.

A study of the by comparison relatively brief history of the human race reveals that communicable diseases have existed since what’s known as the “hunter gatherer days.” This factor verifies that man is subject to the perils of infection, sickness, and death. In the realm of infectious diseases, a pandemic is the worst case scenario which results when an epidemic spreads beyond a country’s borders. This became more of a reality as people grew to be more civilized, building cities, forging trade routes to connect with others and waging wars with them.

The earliest documented pandemic started in Athens around 430 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War. After passing through Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, the disease crossed the Athenian walls as the Spartans laid siege. It brought death to as much as two-thirds of the population.

All throughout history, there have been a number of similar occurrences including the Antonine Plague in 165 A.D. followed by the Cyprian Plague in 250 A.D., the Justinian Plague in 451 A.D., Leprosy in the 11th Century, and The Black Death in 1350.

With the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Caribbean population was introduced to what’s termed the Columbian Exchange which included such diseases as smallpox, measles and bubonic plague. As much as ninety percent of the indigenous population throughout the northern and southern continents succumbed to the pandemic’s ill effects. Upon Columbus’ encounter with the Taino people on the island of Hispaniola with a population of 60,000 people, their numbers stood at less than 500 by 1548.

And so continued the rampage of various diseases with the Great Plague of London in 1665, The First Cholera Pandemic in 1817, The Third Plague Pandemic of 1855, The 1875 Fiji Measles Pandemic, The 1889 Russian Flu, The 1918 Spanish Flu, The 1957 Asian Flu, HIV/AIDS in 1981, SARS in 2003, and the on-going deadly sweep of COVID-19 in 2019 that continues to claim lives every day.

The foregoing information details the mere fact that people, stuff, and things will always require healing, repairing, or replacing.