Perhaps in the "Good Old Days" (tm) folks were too busy with the more urgent aspects of staying alive, having a roof over their heads and not dropping dead from whatever plague was doing the rounds. Nowadays most of this is a given, and so there is enough slack in the system for going to Britney concerts and writing viruses (not that people who go to Britney concerts are the virus writers - but you know what I mean).
I've no idea how we solve it. I guess we need to make sure that we have the latest software (if my brother in law's machine had been better prepared before he got it there would not have been a problem). Perhaps we should insist that, just before a machine is shipped or sold over the counter, it is connected to windows update and prepared for the horrible world out there. This would not stop new viruses but it should help things a bit. I for one would think that such a move would give a vendor a nice sales advantage - I'd prefer to buy a machine fully prepped rather than spend a couple of hours of my time bringing it up to scratch.