The scope and the devastation of the pandemic reflect bad luck, yes, and a dangerous world, yes, but also catastrophic failures of human foresight, communal will and leadership.
But look past that record of human failures for a moment, and consider this whole event from the point of view of the virus. Measure it by the cold logic of evolution: The career of SARS-CoV-2 so far is, in Darwinian terms, a great success story.
This now-notorious coronavirus was once an inconspicuous creature, lurking quietly in its natural host: some population of animals, possibly bats, in the caves and remnant forests of southern China. The existence of such a living hide-out — also known as a reservoir host — is logically necessary when any new virus appears suddenly as a human infection.
Why? Because everything comes from somewhere, and viruses come from cellular creatures, such as animals, plants or fungi… A virus can only replicate itself, function as though it were alive and abide over time if it inhabits the cells of a more complex creature, like a sort of genetic parasite.
Viruses have no malice against us. They have no purposes, no schemes. They follow the same simple Darwinian imperatives as do rats or any other creature driven by a genome: to extend themselves as much as possible in abundance, in geographical space and in time.