The case for the prosecution seems open and shut. Viruses are life’s disrupters – nature’s spivs, gangsters, the ultimate parasites; dogging the lives of all other organisms through their single-minded yet mindless compulsion to replicate.

We’re told, as a billion people remain hungry and human numbers continue to rise and the biosphere collapses around our ears (mass extinction, global warming) that we must curb population growth by whatever it takes, and that those who are left must curb their appetites.

We can never reach Utopia – the name means ‘no place’ – but it’s a fine ideal to keep in sight. Life perhaps should be seen as one long pilgrimage with perfection – ‘Utopia’ – as its goal. Progress towards Utopia ought to be what ‘progress’ really means.