Aspects of pandemicism are as old as 1918, but the proximate origins of this mind virus are much more recent. Tellingly, they don’t lie with any kind of pandemic at all, but rather with the WHO campaign to eradicate smallpox. This started in 1967, and it took ten years to complete. Any institutionalised enterprise that persists for a full decade will acquire institutional momentum, such that it can’t simply be turned o when the mission is over. Just as the push for trans rights and trans acceptance owes a lot to the institutional forces accumulated by the gay rights movement since the 1970s, pandemicism became the next stage of advocacy for the smallpox eradicators a er they had put themselves out of business. All the careers, institutions and grant funding schemes that had been thrown at smallpox needed a second act.