Ever since the first ebola victims were flown to the US, Spain and other countries for treatment, I have expected an ebola case to arise in one of those countries. True, I thought it would be an infected hospital worker or visitor in direct contact with one of the flown-in cases but having one flown in to order works just as well.
Personally I am not at all concerned about this disease. It’s been confined to Africa so far for a reason – it doesn’t do very well in other climates/social structures. We in the Western world are not so sociable and are less likely to help someone sick. Also, the victims are not infectious until they show symptoms. Since the early symptoms look like the flu, and since I already avoid contact with people who have the flu because I had it once and don’t ever want it again, I consider my personal risk to be low.
The actual infectiveness of the disease does not matter. The horribleness of the disease is far more important.
There have been several attempted scares with bird flu and swine flu but nobody really gave a damn. In the end, it’s the flu. Flu is very contagious and can kill, but these days most people see it as ‘only the flu’ and no matter how many letters and numbers you add after its name as if it’s some kind of highly qualified flu, no matter how many times you tell people it’s a new kind of flu that will wipe out all life on Earth, no matter if you hype it into some sort of bug-eyed and fanged monster that will rise from one victim to directly attack everyone in the vicinity… to most people, it’s still just the flu.
Ebola is different. This one kills roughly half of those infected and it kills them in a very nasty way. Effectively it dissolves your insides. It’s a most unpleasant disease and a horrible way to die. It’s also one that we in the West have not come across in our daily lives at all.
Sure, we know about the flu. Pretty much every one of us will have had it at least once or will know of someone who had it. New variants can sound scary but at the back of our minds, well, it’s only the flu.
Ebola is a new and very scary disease for the West. It’s been confined to Africa and now it’s on the loose. This time the scare tactics are much more effective because this time there is no back-of-the-mind voice saying ‘nah, it’s only the flu’. This time the voice is saying ‘Death! Death stalks the land in those awful Ugg boots and a shabby black hoodie! Death is coming for you and most of all, for your cheeeldren! Death, I tell you! Death!’ Then the voice in your head runs screaming into the distance and you hear a distant trapdoor slam.
That’s because most people, by far, are not microbiologists so they rely on what ‘experts’ tell them. And as we have seen in recent years, ‘experts’ love to scare the crap out of people. They failed to raise enough scares with the various forms of the flu but this new one, oh this new one is a doozy. It Comes From Another Place and it has swept through the Other Place leaving only death and devastation in its wake. And it most definitely is not ‘only the flu’. And now it is in your town.
Well okay. It’s in one town. In one US state. One guy has it and he caught it in Another Place. There is, so far, no sign of anyone else catching it from him although there might well be a small number who will develop symptoms. He was sent home the first time he went to hospital. Already there are cries of ‘Why didn’t they isolate him at once? Why are they not checking everyone with these symptoms and asking where they’ve been?’
Early symptoms look like flu. Doctors in Texas haven’t seen a case of ebola before but they’ve seen a lot of flu. It’s not surprising they decided it was flu. As for asking him where he’s been, well… why would they? Unless he pitched up at the hospital talking in Swahili or some such, why would they not assume he was local? Doctors don’t ask for a full travel history for every patient, especially not if their symptoms look like common or garden flu. If doctors demanded such information every time, how long before the patients started shouting about ‘right to privacy’? Sometimes you just can’t win.
It didn’t take long to wheel in the ‘think of the cheeeldren‘ line. He might have been in contact with school-age children. Since schools are festering foetid pools of all things infectious, a disease let loose in there can spread like wildfire. Other diseases do so this one surely will too.
Or will it? Remember, they are not infectious until they show symptoms. When they do, the symptoms look like flu. It would be a harsh and cruel parent indeed who would send a flu-stricken child to school. In the current situation I would think any parent whose child so much as sneezed would have them straight into the hospital without a moment’s delay.
It’s not like in remote African villages where the nearest hospital is three days’ walk away and telephones and ambulances are thin on the ground. It’s Dallas, Texas. They can contain the dsease if anyone else shows symptoms. There really is little to no cause for concern.
Well, now the Daily Moonhowler has the story and naturally is milking it for all it is worth. ‘They won’t tell us which flight he was on’. Of course not. The sensible reason is that he wasn’t contagious while travelling and the CDC don’t want to have surgeries all over the world beseiged by the Dawn of the Worried Well. The sinister reason is that if you don’t know which flight he was on, you don’t know if he was on yours. So everyone is scared.
‘Did he stop over in Heathrow?’ So what if he did? He wasn’t contagious at that time. If you were in Heathrow that day are you concerned? I wouldn’t be. But then, I spent years learning about this sort of thing and then decades studying it further. I will remain not at all concerned about ebola unless I find myself in an infected remote village with no easy access to modern medical facilities.
For those whose careers took a different path, those who remain terrified of such things as Salmonella and Campylobacter – both easily killed by proper cooking – and those who read the Mail stories about someone with a congenital disease that affects about five people on the whole planet and then start checking themselves to see if they have something newsworthy too, it’s a different mindset.
If you don’t believe in ghosts, I can’t scare you with a ghost story. If you don’t believe in demons I can’t scare you with a demon story – although that pair of tiny red glowsticks on a treestump in a dark walkway would, I’ll bet, make you stop and think a bit.
Everyone knows about human brutality. I can scare anyone at all with a silent serial killer story. One who hides inside soft furnishings, knife at the ready, waiting for you to lean back into the comfort of your sofa. Or under the bed with a long sharp spike.
Even better is the terror of disease because everyone has had one at some time. Whether major or minor, there is no need for belief, we all have experience. There have been rumours that ISIS will unleash ebola on the west. Bollocks. We can quickly contain any outbreak of that disease. There are far better bioweapons – but at the moment it’s probably best not to publicise them. You never know who’s reading.
Ebola is not a big deal in the West. The few who might get it will have a really rotten time and some of them might well die, but as a pandemic it’s useless. It’s hyped to the point where the medics will, if anything, overreact. Any outbreak will be quashed at once.
None of the above matters. Look at the best-rated and worst-rated comments on that Mail article. Those who talk sense are shouted down. The drones are terrified that the streets will be filled with corpses any day now and they demand Something be Done.
Something will be done. I don’t think the big stuff will come this time around. I think this is a practice run. See how much restriction the people of Dallas, Texas will accept in the name of not being dead from the inside out. Will they not just accept, but push for tighter and tighter controls on movement and association?
Even Infowars have fallen for it. It is not about the damn virus! The disease is easily contained in that city. Easily. It will not get far and it has nothing at all to do with ISIS. If they really had a bioweapons division they would surely have someone in there who knew what they should really be releasing for maximum disruption, and where to put it. No, this is not a deliberate attempt to spread a really nasty but easily-stopped infection.
What it might be is an attempt to spread an out of proportion fear of that infection. The Daily Mail are helping by claiming that the Horseman of Pestilence rode through Heathrow (note that Infowars claim he went through another US airport) and Infowars are helping by claiming that it is a deliberate attempt to dissolve the people of the USA using a rather complex biological weapon devised and constructed in a sandblown tent somewhere in a desert by men with beards and brains made of mashed up entrails.
This is Bioweapon Level Two, where you don’t actually need an effective bioweapon at all.
You just need the fear of it. Fear will let you control people for their own safety and they will not rebel, they will thank you for it. I doubt Alex Joners ever comes around here since this is a smoker blog and he hates us all, but if you ever do, Al, you’re a gullible idiot.
The disease is not the bullet. Fear is the bullet. The disease is the gun it’s fired from.
Watch Texas. I think it’s a practice run but I could be wrong. The claims that the ebola victim came through other airports (when he wasn’t contagious but let’s not mention that) will only spread the fear. So far it starts with the insistence on ctrols on movements from infected African countries but if there are cases in Texas, maybe suspected ones in London.. where does it end?
Then there are all those FEMA camps that Alex Jones himself has taken great pains to highlight.
Two and two, Alex. Two and two.