4) I’m Sick of It: Global Pandemic!
Over the course of human history our species has endured some monumental pandemics. In the 1300s the Bubonic plague killed roughly 100 million people and reduced the population of Europe somewhere between 30% to 60%.
Keep in mind that the population of the earth was probably only somewhere around 450 million back then; so that would be roughly the equivalent of a plague that killed 75 million people in the United States today. The Spanish Flu was even worse. It also killed roughly 100 million people out of a much larger population, but it did it in about six months. If something that severe hit today, it would eradicate roughly 350 million people worldwide over the same timeframe. The scary thing is that it’s entirely possible a new natural plague could hit or, worse yet, an old virus re-engineered as a bioweapon could be loosed. While we have better sanitation than the old days and medical science has advanced considerably, it’s still entirely possible that our own personal Andromeda Strain could cause so much population loss and economic damage that it could take decades to overcome.