Stop eating animals. Isn’t it obvious, if you wish to avoid Sars , bird flu, swine flu, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, possibly, even ebola? Apparently not, when the dominant species insists on factory “farming” 50 billion animals a year for slaughter and operating unhygienic outdoor markets – hello, mainland China – where dogs, cats and who knows what other species are traded. But hey: without such wilful stupidity we wouldn’t have the opportunity to be scared senseless by six-part Netflix documentary Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak , which could pass for a horror film. The series has arrived with eerily prescient timing: as Wuhan’s most infamous offspring continues its deadly global march, Pandemic warns in calmly measured tones that humans are woefully unprepared for the next cataclysmic outbreak, the one that will rival the Spanish (actually bird) flu outbreak of 1918-20, which racked up at least 50 million fatalities. Given today’s population and world travel links, the next contagion is likely to kill “hundreds of millions”, says one scientist, quietly, where one might expect him to be understandably shouty about the calamity that, in the shape of today’s coronavirus, might already be here. From Vietnam to Guatemala, the Congo, India, Egypt, Lebanon, the United States and beyond, we meet the overworked, overwhelmed, underfunded but somehow still mostly positive doctors, nurses, biotech experts, field workers and others trying to keep the rest of us safe. Meanwhile, special mention is reserved for “China … where we’ve seen the emergence of virtually all the deadly influenza viruses over the last half-century”, says Dr Dennis Carroll, director of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAid) Emerging Threats Unit. Despite all the pig, bird and bat testing shown in this northern hemisphere-heavy series, as the quest to create a universal flu vaccine intensifies, the vegetarians and vegans are ignored. Would they have upset “big pharma” and the meat industry too much? We do, however, spend time with vaccine-deniers who think it’s a good idea not to inoculate their children if they so choose, thereby putting untold numbers of others at risk. (According to one health administrator, the “mild” 2018-19 winter flu season in the US resulted in “only” 35,000 deaths from “normal” flu.) But perhaps the worst expression of complacency is that of the conspiracy theorists calling the latest coronavirus nothing more than a Netflix PR stunt for Pandemic . Has the human gene pool ever been shallower? In Amazon Prime Video’s Star Trek: Picard, a retired Starfleet officer has unfinished business Its never-ending mission, to boldly go back to the small screen while trotting out a few familiar faces, sees Star Trek beaming down to Amazon Prime Video with the latest edition of the Klingon-bashing franchise. Firing up our dilithium crystals this time round is Star Trek: Picard . Retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) finds he has unfinished business in the wake of the Romulans’ galactic exile and the loss of Data (Brent Spiner), who haunts Picard’s dreams. Truculent in the tradition of all the best USS Enterprise officers, Jean-Luc finds himself unsuited to hanging around his French vineyard and is delighted to encounter a mysterious damsel in distress. Not that his new adventure hits warp speed immediately: the set-up is pedestrian and the character introduction plodding, but as always with the most polished space operas the action is worth the wait. Ten episodes, landing weekly, constitute series one, in which commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) also saddles up again. Other stalwarts are on the (event) horizon, as is, already, a second season. Phasers, photon torpedoes … is it too much to hope for tribbles? Nostalgia, it seems, is what it used to be.