There’s a deadly pathogen coming for us.
That was the dire warning Dr. Jaax gave to the military panel on The Hot Zone Season 1 Episode 5 and The Hot Zone Season 1 Episode 6 after she and her team successfully contained the virus outbreak in Reston.
It’s scary that Ebola can mutate so quickly to adapt to its current environment to spread.
It is a true biological genius.
Even scarier is that the source of Ebola has never been found so that it could be studied further
And if there are pathogens out there like Ebola, it’s quite possible that there are even more dangerous viruses waiting to strike.
Or it may be that Ebola eventually “mates” with the Marburg virus and/or HIV to make a super virus just as Wade suggested.
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Think about all the species that have been discovered recently in the world’s jungles and how many others are yet to get discovered.
If there are animal species, then there are also other things hiding, waiting and biding their time.
Things like Ebola.
It’s like Wade asked: Where does Ebola go when it “disappears”?
Is it hibernating or trying out new and different ways of replicating to make it stronger and deadlier?
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At least we know that we’re more prepared now than we were back in 1989 if and when something like Ebola makes its way back to U.S. soil.
Our efforts might not be perfect, but at least we’d have a chance.
The whole idea of Ebola still makes me want to become a hermit, but even isolating myself inside my house might not save me when it finally does strike.
And that’s a terrifying thought.
Jahrling and Rhodes would agree with me on that one.
Both of them made major transformations after their experiences with Ebola.
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All of their doubt and skepticism about Dr. Jaax’s claims quickly vanished when they realized she and Wade were right all along.
But their feelings were understandable.
No one ever believes something bad will happen to them, especially something as horrific as a major virus outbreak.
It doesn’t seem realistic; it’s a thing that should only happen in the movies or on TV.
And if you think the way Rhodes thought, it’s easier to believe that the headaches, vomiting, and fever you have is caused by a flu strain rather than something more dangerous.
Rhodes saw it up close and personal in Africa and still ignored the reality of what was happening in Reston.
It finally became clear why he was so difficult.
He was angry at Wade for killing the Chief (even though the Chief wanted Wade to do it) and angry that he was forced to confront something he had no interest in confronting.
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At least he came around and even got rewarded for speaking up because it’s true that these organizations need proper funding to continue their work of protecting people all over the world.
Nuclear arms and missiles aren’t going to do it but testing and research will.
You also have to wonder if climate change will have anything to do with another outbreak or the creation of a super virus.
If the polar ice caps are melting, who knows what kinds of things are hiding beneath the ice?
Maybe Dr. Jaax will figure it out.
Dr. Jaax finally took the lead in her mission when Jerry fell ill due to exhaustion.
For a guy who was so intent on keeping his wife from harm’s way, he didn’t use his head at the research facility.
How could he even think what he was doing was safe for him or anyone else?
He put the whole team and mission in danger by trying to be the hero.
Wade wasn’t using his head either, but at least he had a reason to disappear for hours.
Lenny Platt on Breathing Life into National Geo’s The Hot Zone
If it wasn’t for Wade’s nosiness the virus would have spread, and the world as we know it might not even exist today.
A lot of credit also goes to the soldiers who joined the mission.
Although all of them were originally gung-ho about it, once they got to the facility, it became apparent that they were facing something unlike anything they had ever faced or would face again.
And they were scared.
I can’t imagine working in those conditions or under those circumstances, but kudos to them for keeping their cool and getting the job done.
The world is a better place because of all their efforts.
Overall, The Hot Zone was an incredible and thrilling real-life story that gave a new meaning to the phrase “what you don’t know can kill you.”
My only complaint was with a portion of The Hot Zone Season 1 Episode 5 when Jerry and the soldiers were working on taking the samples and euthanizing the monkeys.
There seemed to be an endless loop of the soldiers doing their thing when seeing it up close and personal once or twice would have sufficed.
Other than that minor complaint, I loved the series and hope you did too!
Over to you!
What are your overall thoughts on The Hot Zone?
Do you think a virus like Ebola will ever land on U.S. soil again?
Are super viruses already out there waiting to strike?
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Will climate change make a difference?
Hit the comments and share your thoughts!
If you need to catch up, you can watch The Hot Zone online right here via TV Fanatic!