It began, as outbreaks do, with a spark. Three infections, of which two patients soon began showing symptoms. But by the time the coughing and fevers arrived, it was already too late. The virus had spread before its unfortunate hosts even appeared sick. And from there it moved quickly and quietly, multiplying faster through the population than teams of doctors and scientists could quell it.
This was in December 2019, around the time a virus later called SARS-CoV-2 was beginning to make its presence known within the city of Wuhan, China. But this pathogen was not that particular virus. Unlike SARS-CoV-2, this virus was indeed man-made, its attributes selected precisely for how difficult it would be to contain. A