Superbugs in The Year of the Flood

In The Antibiotic Apocalypse’ and the ‘War’ on Superbugs, the author examines language people use when talking about superbugs, arguing that people mostly use war language when talking about superbugs and often reference and apocalypse. He then weighs the benefits and the harmful outcomes of comparing the issue of superbugs to a war and an apocalypse. He argues that this language is used to draw attention and increase the political importance of the issue, but at the same time referring to it as an apocalypse makes it seem as though it is inevitable and makes it harder for there to be change, while also leading the public to panic. This relates to Atwood’s The Year of the Flood because there is an apocalypse at the end of the book because an incurable and easily spread disease has wiped out the population.

Although it is interesting to look at the language used when talking about superbugs and it is necessary to know the implications of it, I find the questions the war-type language presents more intriguing. For instance, I think the arguments presented by the author also bring up another issue of whether the war is really on the superbugs or on those who overprescribe, overuse and misuse the antibiotics, which then lead to the creation of superbugs. Waging a war on the actual superbugs is only going to produce a more fearful bug while waging one on the farmers who give their livestock antibiotics for non-necessary uses and doctors who prescribe antibiotics when there really is no use for them would help curb the danger presented by superbugs.

Article: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/1296/1/Nerlichapocalypse.pdf?origin=publication_detail

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