The way they corral the pilgrams at hajj you’d think they’d have herd immunity
It reminds me too of reading the first half of the Stand when I was in high school. But it was flu season, and so every time someone sneezed my heart would drop. Got a third of the way through and had to put it down, never finished it, never will.
I have a vague (probably garbled) memory of someone in that book who had the sniffles going to the movies, and that was that for half the US population.
This is the sort of story playing, ignored, on the TV in the background while the family gets ready to start their day.
Perhaps a wee bit unsafe for work:
Crap. I have a friend/colleague coming to repair a machine at my work tomorrow, who just got back from training in Germany Sunday night - called in sick and didn’t make it today. Perhaps I should call in sick tomorrow and buy that shotgun, battle axe and sack of grenades I’ve been thinking about… I kid, but I’m going to feel really dumb if this is the start of the zombie apocalypse. Even worse than I feel for not buying a couple bucks worth of bitcoin when I first heard about that on boingboing.
I think you may have conflated The Stand with Outbreak, Andromeda Strain Lite.
I’m sure I heard that some space probe has returned unexpectedly from Venus.
What I like best about this article is the advertisement for SKYTEAM that played alongside it…
If there are any unscheduled, spectacular meteor showers and everyone is going out for meteor-shower viewing parties, etc. - don’t go! Stay indoors, block out as much light as possible.
If you can arrange to have a workplace accident (possibly involving some form of bio-engineered life which will absolutely not get out of control and cause huge loss of life if left without active human intervention for more than say a week) leading to temporary blindness for the relevant period, so much the better.
Ever since seeing Day of the Triffids as a kid, I’ve never gone out to watch any meteor showers; scheduled or not.
The estimated attendance for the 2013 Allahabad Kumbh Mela was 120 million.
I have no idea about the public health issues about that event, although I bet they’re enormous as well.
I could be wrong about this - it’s mostly guesswork - but I get the sense that a lot of disease control is about tracking infection and maintaining accurate information about which infections are where.
I suspect that if, for flu epidemics, they went all quarantine ships like medieval ports did during the Black Death, there’d be three serious negative consequences. One, with the modern world’s many modes and scale of rapid transportation, it would ultimate fail to be effective. Two, people would be reluctant to self-report, hobbling the efforts to track diseases. And three, when something like Ebola does necessitate full quarantines, the CDC and its international counterparts would face the same credibility issue as the boy who cried wolf, as well as the fatigue of continuous heightened states of alert.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for caution, but I imagine epidemiologists are especially resistant to the perils of security theater given the stakes.
Odds are that the health issues of the passengers on the plane from Munich will be traced back to a bad batch of Leberkäs-Semmeln from Vinzenzmurr.
Etc, etc, etc.
I’d imagine that the haaj gives Epidemioligists quite a few waking nightmares. The combination of huge population movements, close contact between so many people and increased stress (on people and resources) is a bad enough combination of risk factors. Now add in a war and the consequent disruption to health services just over the border in Yemen, and a known local reservoir of MERS-CoV, which could mutate into a more communicable or more deadly (or both) form at any time, then you’ve got a recipe for a few sleepless nights for anyone in Epidemiology or Public Health.
You do know how the CDC works, right?
No. I don’t actually. But I also didn’t really think they would bill the passengers. It was a lame joke
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