This last part of The Hot Zone was initially slightly boring, but it gained my interest as I read on. I found it slightly boring in the beginning because it was an account of Richard Preston’s own experiences, and I thought it couldn’t match the events that happened with USAMRIID. However, once Preston got close to the cave, it started to get interesting (in my opinion, at least).
The information from this section definitely made me contemplate the most about what I had learned. Learning about the uprising of the AIDS highway certainly made me come up with a few of what-if questions. What if the highway wasn’t paved? What if it was paved a decade later, so that the local AIDS outbreak could be isolated and die down? I also found it highly interesting that the world’s emerging viruses could be a natural immune response to the invasion of humans. I never thought of it that way, and I think it is a great sentiment to leave the reader with at the end of the book. What if our amplification and invasion of the world’s ecosystems could unleash naturally occurring viruses to control our growing invasion? It’s possible that the viruses are just an immune response to whatever disrupts their natural ecosystems; they’re not just made to infect humans, but to infect whatever disrupts their ecosystems.