When my grandparents were growing up, the American South was still plagued by malaria (or ague, as it was often called.) And what was the effect of the disease?
“While there is good land in the Southern United States as in the North, the land in the North sells at about 12 to 20 times the price, the difference being mainly due to malaria.” - Carter, 1922, quoted here
“The diseases due to all four species of malaria parasite share the characteristic febrile episodes with their tendency to regular periodic paroxyms with chills, rigors, and sweating. They also have many symptoms in common with other infectious illnesses, including body aches, headache and nausea, general weakness, and prostration. . . . Lethargic and with sunken and sallow features, spindly limbs, and hard swollen belly is the general description of the condition. In this state the affected individual succumbs to diseases or other hardships that would scarcely threaten a person in reasonable health.” - Carter and Mendis, Evolutionary and Historical Aspects of the Burden of MalariaIt's easier to dream big from behind a windowscreen. Easier when you're not hungry. When you're not sick. When you're not weakened from parasites and malnutrition. And for those of us who would love to see systemic change, the "one-trick ponies" may be a good way forward.