The next blockbuster medicine that will be invented and what will happen as a result:

It was announced in December. Fittingly it was in the middle of flu season. The cure for the common cold, a one-time vaccine suitable for everyone between the ages of 6 months and 90. And they claimed it was guaranteed to protect you from ever suffering flu symptoms again.

Of course people were skeptical at first. They resisted. Certain occupations, like front line health care, had mandatory vaccines. And as winter turned into spring, and then turned into summer, people started believing it and then clamoring for it. Soon it was in short supply and then on backorder for months. And that’s when the problems began.

When the wonder drug was announced private pharmaceutical companies were forced to stop production on their cough and cold medicines and start producing the vaccine. Governments wanted it, couldn’t get enough of it. But not everyone was vaccinated right away so the existing cough and cold remedies flew off the shelves and were not replaced. Pharmacies were robbed looking either for the vaccine or medicine for flu symptoms, neither of which they had. Violence escalated between the vaccinated and the un-vaccinated, the unclean, the flu sufferers. Previous divisions of race, culture or economics disappeared. Inevitably when the government-run vaccine programs ran out, a black market flourished. And with a black-market quality control goes out the window. So now people were dying, either from violence trying to get the vaccine, bad vaccine on the black market, or simply not being able to get relief from their ravaging cases of influenza.

The following winter the developed nations were in the midst of the worst economic depression in collective memory. Hundreds of thousands were unemployed, and just as many were sick and dying from simple influenza.

Curing the common cold – a glorious time for science, a nightmare for the human race.

Next week: If each decade of your life was represented by a pop song, what would they be?

This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises.  🙂