Just in time for Halloween.

I am still in Jury Service Limbo. Have to phone The Number again tomorrow night. They are really milking it this time.


Halloween is coming, the time when it is traditional to terrify anyone and everyone just for a laugh. This year it’s going to be difficult because everyone is already scared to death. Of ebola.

Of a very few cases, in fact. The interesting paradox is that while everyone wants to close the borders and shoot anyone trying to sneak in, they are absolutely enraged at the killing of an infected Spanish dog. You can catch it from a dog too, you know, and dogs are (at least in my experience so far) much more likely to lick your face than most people.

It seems the Spanish victim might have touched her face with her plastic gloves still on. That’s easily done in a moment of forgetfulness, although a microbiologist wouldn’t forget – but then we are used to handling horribly infectious diseases in their pure form. This was Spain’s first experience of ebola. A simple slip is all it takes.

If you aren’t working directly with an ebola case though, you can touch your face to your heart’s content, if that’s what floats your boat. It’s not an easy disease to catch. Really. It’s not like Salmonella or Camyplobacter which can hang around in food for ages. It’s not like anthrax or gangrene which can hide in soil as inert spores for many, many years and still be able to kill you. To get ebola you have to be in direct contact with someone who is showing symptoms.

Even if you sit next to someone on a plane who later turns out to be infected, if they weren’t symptomatic yet then they were not infectious. Oh sure, I’d get myself checked out in that situation but I’d be more scared of visiting hospital than of catching ebola. If you turn up at hospital and you’re not properly ill, they’ll give you something to catch. ‘There’s nothing wrong with you, timewaster. Here, have a scratch-and-catch card and let’s make your visit worthwhile’.

Ebola is scary in a small village where there’s nobody to look after your sick family but you. You have no haz-mat suit and not even a box of latex gloves. In that case you are in big trouble.

In a UK school it would be easy to isolate a child showing symptoms, assuming their parents were heartless enough to send them to school in that state. Especially so, now that every teacher is primed to watch out for Africans who look a bit pale. The Fear though, the Fear takes over very quickly and parents’ terror has now moved on from the Glittermen to the Disease-Carrying Monster Child from Hell.

This one’s not from Hell but from Sierra Leone. He does not have ebola. I can tell from the pictures. He is smiling. People with ebola have nothing to smile about. Might be rabies, of course, but definitely not ebola.

I could understand it if they said ‘he’s from a high risk area, keep him home for a few weeks until we’re sure he’s okay’ but the Fear does not allow for rational thought. No, he is now a pariah. He’s just a little kid but the ‘theeenk of the cheeldren’ does not apply to other people’s children any more.

The Cameroid is on the case. He is going to fight The War on ebola with… soldiers. They’ll have to be damn good shots to be able to take out a virus. They’ll also have to shoot fast. He’s sending 750 while every ebola case pumps out more than 750 million viruses. What’s the betting half of those soldiers get their redundancy notices while they’re over there? It’s happened before. I wonder if they’ll be allowed to come home?

In America there is terror as the police officer who visited the House of the Rising Virus comes down with symptoms similar to ebola. He might have it. He might have the flu. Let’s hope it’s just flu.

‘Just flu’. Never thought I’d say that. Reminds me of a Jasper Carrott routine where he talks about AIDS. In that context, he said, you might come back from the VD clinic delighted that you only have syphilis. I am sure Jasper now runs the local model shop judging by this photo.

Back to the point. People are scared and are going to be more scared. People already want other people quarantined like dogs from Calais. There will be no objection at all when the lorry-clingers are shot on sight or the boats heading for Italy are sunk with heavy artillery.

They are people. Some of them aren’t even smokers. So much rage over a dog’s disposal but so much demand we cull our own? Are we not men?

Ebola is no big deal in countries it is not adapted to deal with and in countries well adapted to dealing with it. There is no need for terror.

But then, I still recall necrotising fasciitis with its eight cases in one year in the UK. So many were convinced they’d melt like Oz’s Witch of the West even though they were never in any danger.

This one will make them demand more controls on their lives.

They will give away their freedoms for nothing.



12 thoughts on “Just in time for Halloween.

  1. ” although a microbiologist wouldn’t forget”…..I would submit that a microbiologist wouldn’t forget TWICE : )
    Here’s an idea, dress yourself up in a black onesie with a flourescent green line drawing of that Ebola virus on it! I mean it’s probably quite recognisable now and it’s not like most of the morons have any idea of scale is it. run abot at night chasing people and going wooo wooo Ebola wooo. Go on, you know you want to.


  2. I think buying one of these (http://www.selkbag.eu/en/public/original.html) and a nice plexiglass visor (with or without a home-made biohazard sticker and a ‘Biohazard Containment Team’ label on the back) and wearing it for a stroll about town would be … illuminating/entertaining (well until you were arrested for inciting panic in the sheeple).

    People are … strange! I well remember some years ago sitting in my local coffee emporium and listening to a few ‘old dears’ up in arms (so much they intended to picket, bar him from the estate, and write to their MP’s) about another resident in their sheltered housing scheme who was being discharged from the local hospital only half way through his MRSA treatment protocol (despite some estimates that the 60% of the local populace were already carriers, without any effects and he’d probably been admitted ‘with’ it rather than getting it there). They were talking of ‘melting flesh’, ‘deaths by the hundreds’ and wondering how best to quickly write their wills! I kid you not.

    I live in ‘small rural northern city’ and the local MachineMart has sold out of Tyvec suits, latex gloves and N95 masks – I only know because I wanted to respray the car. Panic is obviously already in full swing here at least. Add in Marburg and EV-68 and I think I’ll go long on 3M.


  3. Well, the hoped for ultimate panic over climate change is proving to be a bit of a damp squib, no matter how hard they try to sell it. Now, there is ebola! Main advantages: it has an odd-sounding name; it is not linked with other animals (one of the main banes of bird- and swine-flus; how could anyone get so scared of those?); it has origins in deepest, darkest Africa; it seems to have developed in scattered, spontaneous outbreaks; it is very catching (in the right conditions – but let’s not talk too much about that); it is most dangerous for those who wish to help the afflicted; it has the side-advantage of being transmissible through animals – if the fear dies down, it can be whipped up with a few infected dogs.

    Government has now become dependent upon fear. Goebbels showed the way, when he revealed that technique in Nurembourg, and western governments began to experiment with the idea. First, we had the cold war, thus proving fear was an effective control. Further experiments followed: “Silent Spring” managed to get the miracle of DDT banned on the basis of absolutely no science whatsoever, thus condemning many to death; the on-coming ice-age (which fell a bit flat, so back to the drawing board); acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer proved that people could be made to believe things using “complex science”, and wilfully accept changing their use of effective chemicals. Smoking has proved to be a bit more intransigent, but there are signs that silencing opposition and allowing vociferous condemnation can be effective, a policy happily accepted with the global warming scam – though when the temperatures stopped rising, no matter how the facts were massaged, this has had to be renamed “climate change”. However, even this fear is fading: time to whip up another scare. I am sure that there are many others being held in reserve.

    Gone is the progress that less government and free enterprise gave us; most of what we laud as being “progress” is just a slight revamp of the true progress of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Science and society are now beginning to stagnate. The question to ask is “Why is this policy being so assiduously pursued?”


    • VV The question to ask is “Why is this policy being so assiduously pursued?” VV


      Same reason they cut police numbers to the bone, tie their hands with stupid “human rights” laws, and make court sentening a joke,

      They WANT criminals on the street. The fear of criminality is the only way they can get, and keep the public grassing on each other.


  4. I’m not scared of some elbow disease, nor murderous toe-rags partially named after a brand of vaginal lubricant. I am looking forward to your Halloween tale and the rest of your stories, though Legs. You put Christmas out of its misery for me two years ago with ‘A Christmas Contract’. It was a kindness …


    • Nobody mention lubricant. I had a letter from the hospital yesterday. They want to do a bladder exam. My reaction was ‘You want to shove what up where?’ Nobody mentioned this while I was in there – well they wouldn’t would they? I would not have given them my real name if they had.

      No reason has been given, I think they just decided they hadn’t tormented me enough to fulfil their torment quota for the month.

      It’s a scary story idea though. What if they infused something evil while poking their camera up the pipe?

      I’ll think about that one… another time.


  5. Nowadays I find the easiest way not to catch anything worse than a cold or mild flu is to avoid doctors and hospitals completely. If, and this is a very big ‘if’ Ebola were ever to suffer a serious outbreak in the west, the highest incidences would be around hospitals and in low income areas where standards of hygiene are not so hot.

    Still, it’s a jolly good wheeze for Halloween. Answer the door wearing hooded painters coveralls spattered with a little red paint, deflector mask and safety glasses. That way if Plod gets called by hysterical trick or treaters, you can simply explain you were busy decorating when the little horrors called.


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