[Tipped by @CynaraeStMary in part of a long conversation on Twitter. If you haven’t worked out who she is yet, do try to keep up 😉 ]
The World Health Organisation has now passed an event horizon into a black hole of absurdity, and might soon disappear into the lunacy singularity from which no rational thought will ever emerge again.
They want to ban the common names of many communicable diseases in case someone gets offended, and in case entire species are eradicated in the name of Public Health.
It’s no joke. Publically funded nonscience really has come to this. It’s beyond any hope of parody.
Nonscience. It probably wasn’t a word before but I’ll use it again, I think.
This might be the first time I’ve ever agreed with Hugh Pennington (or ‘Saucy HP’ as he has been called by a certain scientist in the past) on anything. As he says, people understand the common names of these diseases and replacing them with complex scientific terminology will confuse people.
He’s wrong on the ‘upsetting animals’ part. The WHO didn’t say that. They claim it’s to stop needless slaughter of animals. It was only three pages, Saucy. No need to rely on the reporter’s version.
Slaughtering loads of animals just because diseases tend to be named after where they were first found is ridiculous, but teaching the difference between a word and the thing it describes would be a much better way to deal with this.
As @CynaraeStMary said in that conversation:
They didn’t slaughter a lot of Spanish people because of the Spanish flu like they did with the pigs they mention.
Quite so. In that one sentence she encapsulates the required education. The eradication of Germany will not cure German measles and the nuclear devastation of Lyme, Connecticut will make not one jot of difference to Lyme disease.
Killing pigs will not affect swine flu because it has now moved into the human population. You don’t catch it from pigs any more. You catch it from people.
As for this –
The guidelines also call for the words ‘unknown’, ‘death’, ‘fatal’ and ‘epidemic’ to be avoided in descriptions of human disease because they can ‘incite undue fear’.
I’ll bet every single one of you facepalmed at that. You can’t warn people that something is deadly in case they get scared of it. If it’s deadly you’re supposed to be scared of it. That’s the function of ‘scared’ That’s what it’s for.
The WHO were set up as an organisation to control and, if possile, eradicate communicable diseases. Now it seems they’ve found a way to achieve their goal.
They’re going to pretend the diseases don’t exist.