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The World Needs Viruses to Function

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are reading a lot about what is happening re the virus. I found this article, “Why the World Needs Viruses to Function,” very enlightening.

It also struck me how these viewpoints coming from scientific research matched what
viruses communicated to me about their function on Earth, especially their role in creating balance, recycling, maintaining the health of organisms, and the evolution of species.

Here are some excerpts that echo and add to what I found out from my direct communication with viruses:

“If all viruses suddenly disappeared, the world would be a wonderful place for about a day and a half, and then we’d all die – that’s the bottom line,” says Tony Goldberg, an epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “All the essential things they do in the world far outweigh the bad things.”

The vast majority of viruses are not pathogenic to humans, and
many play integral roles in propping up ecosystems. Others maintain the health of individual organisms – everything from fungi and plants to insects and humans. “We live in a balance, in a perfect equilibrium”, and viruses are a part of that, says Susana Lopez Charretón, a virologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

By culling microbes, viruses ensure that oxygen-producing plankton have enough nutrients to undertake high rates of photosynthesis, ultimately sustaining much of life on Earth.
“If we don’t have death, then we have no life, because life is completely dependent on recycling of materials,” Suttle says. “Viruses are so important in terms of recycling.”

Beach and sky with cliffs
Researchers studying insect pests also have found that viruses are critical for species population control. If a certain species becomes overpopulated, “a virus will come through and wipe them out”, Roossinck says. “It’s a very natural part of ecosystems.” This process, called “kill the winner”, is common in many other species as well, including our own – as evidenced by pandemics. “When populations become very abundant, viruses tend to replicate very rapidly and knock that population down, creating space for everything else to live,” Suttle says. If viruses suddenly disappeared, competitive species likely would flourish to the detriment of others.

“We’d rapidly lose a lot of the biodiversity on the planet,”
Suttle says. “We’d have a few species just take over and drive out everything else.”     
Infection with certain benign viruses even can help to ward off some pathogens among humans.

GB virus C, a common blood-born human virus that is a non-pathogenic distant relative of West Nile virus and dengue fever, is linked to
delayed progression to Aids in HIV-positive people. Scientists also found that GB virus C seems to make people infected with Ebola less likely to die.

While lifelong infection with herpesviruses “are commonly viewed as solely pathogenic,” they write, their data suggest that
herpes in fact enters into a “symbiotic relationship” with its host by conferring immune benefits. Without viruses, we and many other species might be more prone to succumbing to other diseases.

“All organisms that can be infected with viruses have an opportunity to suck up viral genes and use them to their advantage,” Goldberg says.
“The insertion of new DNA into genomes is a major mode of evolution.” The disappearance of viruses, in other words, would impact the evolutionary potential for all life on the planet – including Homo sapiens.

Evidence indicates that we owe our ability to have live births to a bit of genetic code that was co-opted from ancient retroviruses that infected our ancestors more than 130 million years ago.
As the authors of that 2018 discovery wrote in PLOS Biology: “It is tempting to speculate that human pregnancy would be very different – perhaps even nonexistent – were it not for eons of retroviral pandemics afflicting our evolutionary ancestors.”

Restating part of the message viruses gave to me about their purpose:

We are the cleaners… we are equalizers or restorers of harmony.

They relayed an energetic feeling and image of sweeping through with a big broom and cleaning up debris. They communicated their purpose to help our bodies to evolve. They help cells evolve to their next level. Sweeping through, they mutate to avoid destruction because they have a function to make species stronger.

I learned from viruses that they are part of the Earth’s recycling crew and evolutionary movers and shakers. They showed me that Earth was originally programmed to constantly evolve into something more beautiful. Viruses help species develop into their next level of beauty, health, and wholeness.

Viruses flourish when there is an imbalance because they are the restorers of the balance. They rebalance and further the evolution of species.

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