Saturday, October 25, 2014

Six Degrees Of Ebola Separation - For the Geographically Challenged

As one hilarious wisecracker posted elsewhere yesterday when I added that Mali had gotten on the Ebola Scoreboard, "Oh God! Not Mali!!! {runs to Wikipedia}

Which is fair, funny in a 7000-miles-from-me way, and a reasonable observation.
Fair enough; not everyone liked maps since they were little kids.

The problem is this:
When Ebola was (more-or-less) contained in one country, it was "just another small potatoes Ebola outbreak" in equatorial Africa. Quick flare, bodies, and poof! it's over.
But instead, it travelled by bus and taxi to the densely populated slums of the capitol, and crossed two (and later three, out of six) of the neighboring borders. And then proceeded to those densely crowded capitol's slums, and we've been off to the races trying to catch it - and abysmally failing - every day since then. That's precisely why it's now A Big Thing.

And now it's gotten to Mali (pop. 16M+). Nearly as many people in one country as there are in the other three combined. Carried there by a two-year-old, and her loving idiot grandmother, on public busses, straight to the capitol of Mali (Bamako, pop. 1.8M), and its teeming slums.

Clever people will notice a pattern.
(And arguably, most of Africa is a teeming slum.)

And with Mali doubling down on teh Stoopid, it bears noting that it shares borders with four additional countries not previously at risk, and the president of that landlocked nation has officially announced that they won't be closing their borders at all.

In more obvious terms, this is like deciding, in the midst of a forest gloriously aflame, to build your house out of gasoline cans, and pointing fireworks at your neighbors' houses as well.
And then storing kegs of gunpowder inside that house.

We aren't losing to Ebola because we don't know how to stop an epidemic.

We're losing because no one is willing to do it.
It's too hard.
Too politically unpopular.
Too inhumane to those trapped in the Hot Zone.
Simply too damned mean.
And the "leaders" around the world, top to bottom, are simply too craven and too stupid to take the most obvious and basic epidemiologic steps to contain the spread.

So instead, we're going to kill the entire world. With kindness.
And wish on a unicorn, and think of butterflies and puppies, while we pray for miracles.

What's desperately and unpalatably called for is some tough love.

But everyone involved is too squeamish to come out and do what necessity demands, and instead, they're all diddling themselves, and will continue to do so, until nothing, not even the most draconian measures, will then avail.

And for the perennial pollyanas, who're sure that the outbreak in Mali won't spread, and the case in NYC won't spread: That's what they said when it was just in Guinea. And when it was just in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. And when it was just in Dallas.
Nota bene, dumbasses, that it's come to the U.S. twice already, skipping over 87 intermediate stops, because international jet travel, and clever government inattention, incompetence, hubris, and childish magical thinking.
It's a free country: wait for it to personally bite you in the ass at your own peril.
I promise to laugh at your plight from afar, come the day.

I say yet again:

Y.O.Y.O. - You're On Your Own.

Make appropriate personal preparations, while you yet have the time and wherewithal.
When things go to shit everywhere, as they continue to do like a Chinese water torture, drip by drop, that option will not exist for you, or for anyone else.


  1. When the shit hits the fan, those who have only stocked up on food are going to be soft targets.

    1. When the shit hits the fan those expecting to loot their way to survival will be in for shitty death when they loot a house formerly inhabited by a family of Ebola victims...

  2. Sage advice indeed. History can be our lesson.

    Some jews fled Germany at the first sign of Nazi uprisings. They were the ones who survived. Most of the rest said "that's crazy, nothing to worry about" and went about their daily lives. And they all wound up dead.

    1. About eighty (80) percent of Jews in Germany left when the Nazi government announced its policy of de-Jewifying Germany. The rich ones were taxed to pay for the poor ones.

  3. This is the biological version of the Green March.