Jason Kottke revisited The Long Boom, a WIRED article from 1997 that offered predictions for the next 25 years. As he noted, a lot of this came true but the one that really stood out to me was this:
9. An uncontrollable plague — a modern-day influenza epidemic or its equivalent — takes off like wildfire, killing upward of 200 million people.
Sound like COVID-19? Most people might think “wow, how did they know?” but the real question is “if this could be predicted by a journalist, why couldn’t government officials spot this and prevent it from at least taking such a devastating hold on us?” It’s not like scientists spending their careers studying this stuff.
But I know why. A mixture of arrogance, ignorance, and knowing it wouldn’t affect them detrimentally, or not without a way to recoup anything lost by taking from the people most vulnerable. All under the guise of “unprecedented times”, allowing them to mismanage and get away with it.
So it is Written, So it Shall be Done.