In a distant future when our species has ventured to other planetary systems, our descendants revere … [+]
Nat Geo will air a couple new episodes of Cosmos: Possible Worlds tonight. One of the episodes in particular, “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, is especially relevant right now. The episode focuses on the larger capacity for life—specifically human beings—to change. But it also shares information that is very valuable given the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the confusion around the quarantine effort and how social distancing and proper hygiene can help flatten the curve of infections.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Cosmos: Possible Worlds, examines how the rabies virus targets specific functions of the host, and how that targeting results in ensuring the continued spread and survival of the virus. Mutations that work to make the virus more effective or help it successfully propagate are passed on, allowing the virus to evolve over time.
Take a look at this exclusive video clip from the episode to learn more:
This episode is desperately needed, because many people do not understand what a virus is or how viruses propagate, or how we can protect ourselves from them. Contrary to what some ill-informed elected officials might suggest, a virus is not bacteria. The Novel Coronavirus is not “brilliant” and it has not somehow outsmarted antibiotics. The simple fact is that antibiotics have nothing to do with fighting a viral infection, and viruses continually mutate and adapt over time. It’s not because they’re brilliant. It’s just basic biology and natural selection.
The episode covers more than just the mutation and evolution of viruses—sharing knowledge and information in a way that is simultaneously entertaining and thought provoking. Cosmos is also impressive visually. The video and animations contribute to make the series a must-see.
I highly recommend watching tonight’s episodes of Cosmos. Cosmos: Possible Worlds is amazing in general, but tonight is uniquely relevant to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus and helping you understand how viruses work. Cosmos: Possible Worlds airs Monday night from 8-10 PM Eastern time on Nat Geo and is available to stream after the show airs.