Thursday, May 18, 2017

Let The Games Begin

And now, only three days after the WHO report referred to two posts ago, the number of contacts in Congo has jumped from 129 to 400, per AP.

Scroll back and see where I put this under "possible worst case".

It's probably safe, at this point, to drop it down another notch on the scale.
And to check sales on canned goods. Really.

Because WHO, and African kakistocracy are back on the case. (What could possibly go wrong?) As if Inspector Clouseau had called the Keystone Kops for back-up.

Now all we need is one Ebola-infected traveler to hit the US, then we can get the CDC in on the hijinks, and it's a Saturday matinee.

And if it gets from the northern border of BFCongo to the capitol, Kinshasa, and its 10,000,000 people with rates of 60% literacy, and the same lack of health care, running water, or flush toilets, in a country that borders on nine other underdeveloped and poor countries, a population already ravaged by AIDS, malaria, and dozens of other diseases, and then things'll get mighty interesting.

The only good news is there's a promising experimental vaccine, which they might be able to get there, and the world can use a few thousand Congolese villagers as human testing guinea pigs. If, if, IF it turns out to work, that would be great news. If not, well...

We've already seen what the next 12 or so doublings look like. Pray we don't go there again.
Best wishes, and sleep tight.


Anonymous said...

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Last time seemed to be a combination of dumb luck and the disease running out of victims that kept it from going big-time (not that 11K deaths doesn't classify as big-time, but it coulda been worse). I wonder if we can count on that this time.

As noted, if it hits a population center things could get sporty. And if we, in our infinite charitable stupidity, decide to DO something like bring sick people HERE for treatment... Still nurse Goggles-and-Shower-Cap is on the case I'm sure.

Mark D

Aesop said...

Bear in mind, it's widely acknowledged that the actual death toll in 2014-15 was probably closer to 40,000, if not more than that. And after the press blackout, the actual numbers disappeared into oblivion forever.

First, assign people to track the disease who can't count...

The keys this time will be
a) whether we bring people here for treatment, and
b) whether we put a travel ban and actual quarantine into effect, as we should have in 2014.
That, and any American cases, will be the make-or-break this time.
It's still remote and small enough, now, that TPTB could get a handle on this outbreak and contain it before it goes all pear-shaped.
The only thing pulling the other way, as I said, is the incompetence of WHO, and the corruption and stupidity of African official kleptocracy.

tweell said...

But, but, they know how to deal with it this time, so there could not possibly be a chance of an epidemic spreading to Kinshasa, let alone beyond Africa! Right? Right?

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. RAH

Mike_C said...

> What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
A country with a mean IQ of 76 (31st out of 43; there are a lot of ties, hence the small denominator) and a transparency ranking of 156 out of 176 (transparency is a surrogate for lack of corruption). What could go wrong indeed?

> dumb luck
There certainly seems to be plenty of dumb to go around (both in the DRC and in the enlightened West). What we need is luck. Much luck. Let us fervently hope that Otto ("God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America")von Bismarck was right.