An interviewer once pointed out to Bill Gates that the initial terror over Covid had abated and people weren’t scared of this pandemic so much. Billy Gates Gruff, with his trademark smug-faced smirk, responded with ‘The next one will get their attention’.
All viruses are capable of mutating and, as they spread, they tend to mutate into less vicious forms. The reason for this is simple. The initial deadly version kills its victims fast and it kills at a high rate. People learn to isolate those infected – and the infected ones aren’t in any mood to move around spreading the disease. They are generally bed-bound.
A milder mutant, that doesn’t make people ill quite so fast, and doesn’t kill as many, is able to spread more easily. The infected aren’t all confined to bed, they might have a few days of spreading before they show symptoms, so that variant will spread further and faster before it’s noticed. If you catch that one (and survive it) it’s close enough to the original that you’re immune to that too.
So, the deadly original will gradually die out, the still-nasty-but-not-quite-as-bad variant will throw out another, less dangerous variant, and the process continues until the virus becomes no more than an inconvenience.
Of course, this doesn’t always happen over the course of one infection season. It can take decades, or even hundreds of years, depending on the mutation rate of the particular virus. There will be a few that might never get weaker until after we all go extinct. Most, however, will.
Respiratory RNA viruses mutate so fast that they will soon, often over a spell of years rather than decades, join the ranks of viruses that cause the common cold. This is good for us and also good for the virus. The cold is a mere inconvenience – but if the virus remained deadly, then, as with smallpox, we would go all out to eradicate it from existence altogether. We get annoyed with cold viruses but we aren’t going to have a massive program to wipe them out. It wouldn’t work anyway, there are so many different ones now and new ones keep appearing.
This is clearly happening with Covid although it’s complicated by the lunacy of mass vaccination with a lousy vaccine while the virus is highly active. It’s what happened with Marek’s disease in poultry and I’m not going to go over all that again.
The decline to a relatively harmless variant depends, a lot, on how vicious the little sod was in the first place. Covid started with a kill rate of less than 1% of those infected, no worse than flu, so it won’t take long to decline into a cold.
There is some evidence to suggest that it’s declining in deadliness with new variants but this bugger started with a kill rate of up to 90% of those infected. It’s now down to around 50% so it’s still a very very long way from being described as ‘mostly harmless’.
Of course, the case might not be Ebola. It has not been confirmed. Early symptoms are similar to a lot of other common illnesses, like Shigella, the gut-emptying shit-through-the-eye-of-a-needle bacterium. That little swine can be common in crowded places, like schools, because it’s so very contagious. It doesn’t last too long outside the body but it just takes one carrier to grab that toilet door handle without washing their hands and… kaboom. Literally, for the next poor bugger to grab that handle.
If it’s Ebola, it progresses from feeling terribly ill to wishing it would hurry up and kill you. I mean, you might think ‘man flu’ is really bad but that’s a stubbed toe compared to Ebola. Your chances of getting out of it alive are roughly 50/50 and there might not be much left of you if you do. You will start to spontaneously bleed, internally and externally. Every drop of that blood is infectious. Nobody wants to touch you. Even your decaying corpse will remain infectious for years.
But… it’s not as bad as it sounds. You’d have to come in contact with the bodily fluids of someone infected in order to get this. It’s not airborne. Although it can be in droplets from, say, sneezes, it’s not free-floating like a coronavirus. If you have a mask that stops droplets, it can stop droplets containing Ebola. It still won’t stop a free-floating virus like Covid but if we get an Ebola outbreak, Covid will be nothing more than a welcome excuse to isolate yourself from the disease-riddled zombies.
Now, when I say ‘bodily fluids’, I know exactly what you filthy minded lot are thinking. Trust me, if you do get this thing, you are not going to feel up to emitting that particular bodily fluid. It’ll be in every fluid that comes out of your body. Spittle, urine, faeces (these are not normally considered a fluid but if you have this, they will be), tears and sweat. In the later stages, it’ll be in the blood that leaks out of everywhere.
I suspect sweat would be one of the biggest spreader sources. Why? Well, Ebola outbreaks are mostly in equatorial Africa, where it’s always hot. It’s never appeared in Scotland where a really warm summer is when it gets above 20oC. If you want to get really sweaty here you have to put quite some effort into it. At the equator I suspect you start to sweat from the effort of opening your eyes. I would certainly be incapable of drying myself there.
Here, north of the Ice Wall, touching someone who is sweaty results in ‘Ewww!’ It’s not normal to us. I can envisage that, living in a place so hot that everyone is sweaty all the time, it would feel just as odd to touch someone whose skin is dry. Well, you know, I speak as someone who avoids most contact with pretty much everyone most of the time so I can’t claim to speak for everyone here.
Anyway. If you have a disease spread by bodily fluids – including sweat – it’s going to have a much easier time spreading in hot countries than in cold ones. If you want to get Ebola in Scotland you’re going to have to find someone willing to sneeze, bleed, pee or shit on you and while I recognise that those things aren’t entirely out of the question in certain places, for those of us living in the rurals it’s not really an issue.
If you live in equatorial Africa, you just need to be in a crowd of equally sweaty people. Brush against someone, you have a thorn prick or insect bite in your skin, it’s in. Gotcha. People don’t tend to wear multiple layers there because it’s so warm. In Scotland the virus will have to get through layers of clothing to reach your skin and those layers also make us pretty much thorn and insect proof too.
So, yes, Ebola is a very, very nasty disease but it is not a winter disease. It’s not like the respiratory viruses. It really needs a warm, preferably hot climate to get going. It needs people to actually touch, and without layer upon layer of clothing in the way. Winter is the least risky period for this disease. Certainly in the UK and definitely in Scotland.
So, I know they have an mRNA pretend vaccine ready to go. I’m not taking it. And I won’t be taking any PCR tests for something that, if you have it, you know all about it. It’s not asymptomatic, this one hits you like a speeding truck. You have a 50/50 chance of survival.
That’s actually a lot better than what you get by interacting with modern medics.