But however secure and well-regulated civilized life may become, bacteria, Protozoa, viruses, infected fleas, lice, ticks, mosquitoes, and bedbugs will always lurk in the shadows ready to pounce when neglect, poverty, famine, or war lets down the defenses.— Hans Zinsser
The most cheering Hans Zinsser quotes to discover and learn by heart
Infectious Disease is one of the few genuine adventures left in the world.
Our task as we grow older in a rapidly advancing science, is to retain the capacity of joy in discoveries which correct older ideas, and to learn from our pupils as we teach them.
We have chosen to write the biography of our disease because we love it platonically - as Amy Lowell loved Keats - and have sought its acquaintance wherever we could find it. And in this growing intimacy we have become increasingly impressed with the influence that this and other infectious diseases, which span - in their protoplasmic continuities - the entire history of mankind, have had upon the fates of men.
Swords, Lances, arrows, machine guns, and even high explosives have had far less power over the fates of nations than the typhus louse, the plague flea, and the yellow-fever mosquito. Civilizations have retreated from the plasmodium of malaria, and armies have crumbled into rabbles under the onslaught of cholera spirilla, or of dysentery and typhoid bacilli. Huge areas have bee devastated by the trypanosome that travels on the wings of the tsetse fly, and generations have been harassed by the syphilis of a courtier. War and conquest and that herd existence which is an accompaniment of what we call civilization have merely set the stage for these more powerful agents of human tragedy.
Throughout the early Christian period, every great calamity - famine, earthquake, and plague - led to mass conversions, another indirect influence by which epidemic diseases contributed to the destruction of classical civilization. Christianity owes a formidable debt to bubonic plague and to smallpox, no less than to earthquake and volcanic eruptions.