MERS allergy masks some other dangers
Allergy is the unusual response of the immune system to foreign substances.
In “The Magic of Reality,” biologist Richard Dawkins defined allergy as “fighting too hard against a supposed attacker. The immune system is needlessly, wastefully and even damagingly fighting harmless things.”
Sneezing or a runny nose due to pollen or animal hair, which don’t do much damage to human bodies, can be considered a simple abnormal function. But asthma is very serious, accompanied by intense and prolonged pains. Also, a peanut could lead to anaphylaxis that could kill an otherwise healthy person.
While the origins of allergies have been traced, there is no clear answer yet. It is presumed that the trauma from external threats is remembered by the gene and the body responds excessively to similar substances or ones that recall the attack.
This abnormal response of human bodies comes from failure to distinguish between what’s dangerous and what’s not. As a result, the body even attacks an embryo, resulting in a miscarriage. It is one of the errors of a marvelously designed human body.
But people may not be qualified to criticize this flaw. People make foolish mistakes when judging what’s dangerous and what’s not, often failing to realize when they made the wrong decisions.
Many people criticize MERS patients and those who had contact and were isolated, as if they are spreading the MERS virus. A health club at an apartment complex even posted a picture of a resident who was diagnosed with MERS. It is a primary response to the threat. But it only discourages those with symptoms from reporting themselves. Memories of the MERS outbreak could remain until the next outbreak.
People even avoid those patients who have fully recovered from MERS. Their bodies are already immune to the MERS virus, but they are still classified on the limited contact list. Some people even avoid the doctors and nurses caring for MERS patients. The flawed immune system is attacking and killing the antibodies fighting the virus.
The collective allergic reaction to MERS left the disease control system in chaos. And we may even miss what’s really dangerous. The real enemies to attack are the incompetent government, unprofessional experts, faulty medical system, opportunistic politicians and those who fail to distinguish the enemy from the ally and pour friendly fires.
The author is the deputy business editor of the JoongAng Ilbo. JoongAng Ilbo, June 25, Page 31
by LEE SANG-EON