The Easy Terror

Okay, first off, I have finally completed Tales From Loch Doon, every author who wanted cash has been paid and books are (slowly) making their way to those who wanted books. Amazon are prioritising ‘essentials’ and print books aren’t essential. They might take a week or so to arrive.

I went with the lighter cover image, did some meddling to sharpen it and (hopefully, I haven’t seen a print copy yet) make it more dramatic. There some little things in there to find, naturally πŸ˜‰

Okay. I can now get back to Panoptica and the other books waiting in line. I can also stop banging on about Loch Doon. It’s complete.

So what’s the scariest thing I’ve written? What I hear most about is things like ‘The Hand that Feeds’ (goblins in a dishwasher), ‘Telephone Pest’ (demonic spirits spread through silent phone calls) and the preamble stories for Panoptica.

Nobody is scared of stories about wild-eyed demons or ghosts or zombies or vampires. Those are entertainment. It’s when you take the ordinary and everyday stuff and turn it on its head – that’s when people start checking under the bed and behind the sofa, and sleep with the lights on. The ordinary is the place where the easy terrors lurk.

So it is with the Flu Manchu. We now hear that it might be in the water supply. Apparently Boris says so, so all the already-terrified drones will believe it.

Well… no. It is not in the water supply. I am certain. Absolutely definitely certain. If it is anywhere it’s in the bottled water the drones will buy to avoid drinking from the tap, but really it’s not in there either.

That won’t stop me scaring them shitless about it, of course. I haven’t been able to leave the house for nearly a month now and I miss that direct interaction with people, and watching the colour drain from their faces.

The only way it would get into water is through faecal contamination. If your water comes from a reservoir, it had bird shit, fish shit, insect shit and all the fox and badger and everything else shit washed off the surrounding banks going into it. There’ll also be quite a few dead things in there, rotting away nicely and making your drinking water into dead-thing-and-poo soup.That’s why you don’t just dip a cup into a reservoir.

When it comes out of the tap, all the nasties are gone. The processing plant has cleaned them all out. We know this because drinking water is tested. One of those tests is for faecal contamination and that involves looking for Escherichia coli. Why that one? It’s only found in guts so if it’s in the water, there’s shit in the water. If it’s absent then we can be reasonably sure there’s no shit in the water. There are other tests too, quite a few, but if the processing is working correctly the water will pass them all.

So what makes this virus so special that it can withstand processing? Nothing. Nothing at all. It can’t. It’s not the Johnny Bravo of the microbial world. It will not get past the processing plant even if it gets into the water in the first place.

If it did, then so can everything else and you’d already be shitting water through every orifice from all the nasties you’d pick up.

Bottled water is also processed and tested. It’s not bottled by an unwashed hippy dipping bottles into a stream, you know. Any kind of foodstuff/drink on sale has been tested for safety unless you’re into eating raw bats you got from a dodgy blood-soaked madman. No safety tests, no sale. The suppliers want to see and keep documentation of the tests, otherwise they’d be liable too.

A long time ago, I was actually involved in food and drink testing. It’s not something you can be casual about. Wrongly reporting something as safe means an outbreak of food poisoning and it’s your fault. Wrongly reporting something as contaminated means a massively expensive recall operation – and that’s also your fault. Believe me, the labs doing these tests are careful.

Town water is chlorinated to make absolutely sure it’s safe to drink. Out here, it isn’t chlorinated – but it goes through two filters and a sealed UV blaster so it’s safe to drink right from the tap. Without chlorine. That’s because the water treatment plant is in the utility room so the treated water doesn’t have to travel far. If it was my personal well I’d be allowed to risk it, but since the landlord is supplying tenants, he can’t. The filters and UV are changed every year and the water gets tested.

The virus is not in the water supply. If you are still scared, boil the water first. The virus will not survive that. It cannot live inside your kettle either.

I don’t blame Boris for this scare story. He has no background in science, much less in microbiology or water treatment and supply. Someone has fed him this scaremongering bollocks and he probably thinks he’s doing us a favour by passing it on.

All it is doing is adding to the fear. Don’t fall for it.

25 thoughts on “The Easy Terror

  1. I filter my water through a berkey with pf2 filters in anycase. You could pee into the top and get clean water out . Primarily because you cant get rid of arsenic cadmium and fluoride in water easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arsenic is surprisingly common. When the Victorians used it as a green dye (in absolutely everything!) it was said that the arsenic mine in the UK produced enough to kill all life on the planet. Widespread arsenic poisoning, denied by medics, was later connected to the head of medicine at that time having a lot of shares in that mine… Nothing changes.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Might be difficult, it would need to cover the whole mask wihtout burning your face.

      However, fitting blue LEDs in to scare the shit out of people could well be worthwhile πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This should be right up your street Mr. Legiron

    It’s just over an hour long but worth the time. No doubt You tube will be removing it shortly.

    Is she right?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Trying to find out how long it would take for a UVB lamp fitted in a cash register drawer to sterilise cash within, any guesses?
        UVC not penetrative through notes.
        Gives an alternative to the eye of sauron discouraging cash transactions

        Liked by 1 person

          • Must admit not a scooby, assumed that UVB will penetrate plastic to a couple of mill at least unlike UVC.
            Just playing with the idea of cash registers auto sterilising cash. Drawer closes & light comes on etc, more an idea of a reduction in germ / virus transfer rather than a complete removal.
            Sell it as an add on the cash registers, Public health will obviously love it until they realise they can’t monitor your alcohol consumtion.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I have three grapevines here and many fruit trees. Also all the fermentation equipment from my old lab. Nobody can possibly monitor my alcohol consumption πŸ˜‰

              UV might only work on one or two layers but that would still help, since the layers change with every transaction. It won’t be perfect but it could help with all kinds of transmissible diseases.

              Liked by 1 person

        • I do indeed, just wondering about feasibility to make the handling of cash feel safer for the worried well.
          Also looking at home wine kits from Amazon versus others at the moment.
          With the cooooncil centres still closed, need to find a purpose for 60 odd wine bottles!!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I met a chap recently who had masters in something ever so technical-medical. After Uni he took a job at the local Department of Environment labs that required such qualifications to do those very water tests, both before and after treatment, hundreds of them every day.

    Sadly his working day was spent unpacking glass phials of water to be tested, putting them through the computerised process ad nauseam day after day
    He told me a monkey could do the job and after six months left to become a website designer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those labs aren’t about innovation, they just test stuff. They have very rigid standard operating procedures and yes, you probably could train a monkey to do some of the tests.

      I was lucky, the food testing aspect was just the money generating side and most of my time was research/teaching. When we had a big batch in though, it was all hands on deck!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Seems a mosquito repellent may help in giving a couple of hours protection from the virus.

    If anyone fancies a punt, this is the outfit.

    (I’ve been spraying regular insect killer into the leather gloves I use and hand sanitizer on the outside. Reason for the gloves is to stop me touching my face. No other reason).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reminded of this: our transatlantic cousins are clearly delicate souls…

    Mount Tabor Reservoir in Portland, Oregon, was drained by water chiefs after CCTV footage captured a teenager urinating into the water supply.

    The 38 million gallon reservoir provides water to the city’s population of 600,000. The refill is estimated to have cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars.

    Daily Telegraph: April 2014

    Liked by 1 person

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