Sure, but what I was arguing against was your prior point that because we can list off viruses from recent history, that’s evidence that they’re becoming more common. But in fact, as patchy as the history of disease is, epidemics have been common since humans settled down and domesticated animals. So we’d need to see some specific evidence of them becoming more common.
If we’re talking about our own speculation, then yes, of course I would expect that with 8 billion of us on the planet, and cheap international travel that pandemics have the opportunity to spread further, faster.
However, on the question of whether they are becoming more frequent, I’d still say I wasn’t sure. As I mentioned upthread, many mammals have passed viruses and other pathogens to humans throughout our history. The peak of our susceptibility may have been when we were rubbing up against many species at the same time, not the current situation where we’re already resistant to most of the viruses carried by most of the animals that we interact with.
On the one hand, it’s encouraging how well many Asian countries handled covid. They had already had their fingers burnt by SARS so were well prepared this time. Next time, when the virus may well be nastier, hopefully the whole world is similarly alert, with the added bonus of extremely fast vaccine pipelines.
On the other hand, many in the US are still politicizing masks and vaccines, which is absolutely disgusting, and probably means any future virus can always find a reservoir in a shining “city on a hill”.