Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Last Thoughts For Now: The Nightmare

Imagine Team Mo has sent 1 (or 19, or 50, or 200) guys infected with Ebola here.
They'll be asymptomatic for 7-20 days, on average, including at any cursory
intake screening. They could come from 40+ countries before arrival.
So, pick them out of the above crowd. You have a 1
(or 19, or 50, or 200) in 300M chance. Good luck, Jim.

From conversation at dinner last night (and I owe you one next trip), and a comment elsewhere today:
"This is still not Africa’s century. When, not if this virus becomes weaponized, it will be brought here to the Blue Hives first. Then it will spread and Hell will be upon us."

My last thoughts on the Ebola topic, until this gets to the next stage (arrival in a major international city, and/or inter-continental travel and spread documented):

I expected Team Mo to take that approach last time.

Sooner or later, that penny will drop.

Clancy's template for that was in print worldwide 22 years ago, so it's not like I'm giving anyone any ideas.

He novelized aerosol delivery, which even in the book failed to fully work.

But taking things the next step and doing it would be easier without that bit of literary cleverness. If they simply infected people and sent them here while freshly infected and asymptomatic, with orders to burn their papers, hide their identities, and circulate until unable, a dozen such not-so-smart bombs who subsequently founded outbreak clusters solely at malls and amusement parks would completely overwhelm any ability to deal with the disease short of bringing all of American society to a grinding halt for months. They could do this indefinitely, and vector it in from 40 countries tomorrow, and we wouldn't even know we were under attack for a month or more.

Getting a handle on the disease - anywhere - depends absolutely on the idea that people want to help track their contacts. People committed to hide and lie about where they've been and where they've merrily sown microbial Hell screw that pooch in a gang-bang. In about 0.2 seconds.

And also noted by Clancy last century, "You can't expect them to stay stupid forever."

What some of the geniusii hereabouts fail to comprehend is not the direct problem of Ebola outbreak(s) here, horrific as that alone would be.

The true problem is the secondary and tertiary effects when a growing and absolutely non-zero portion of Americans, notably truck and rail delivery chains, and first responders from police, fire, EMS and medical personnel, decide "Fuck that, I'm staying home starting tomorrow, until further notice, because my paycheck isn't a death pact." Like. They. WILL.

Three days later we start running out of things like gasoline and food resupply (not everywhere, but it doesn't take much to much to go from concern to stupid to panic), and it snowballs from there.
Perception is reality, and America closed for months is 9/11 to the tenth power. They got 19 hijackers here, no problem.

19 @$$holes infected with Ebola and set loose would probably top that tally eventually, but financially, they could crash the Western world, with 19 injections, 19 one-way plane tickets, and a few weeks' spending money and tourist itineraries, and whilst breaking exactly no US laws other than the original conspiracy.

There's also no reason to stop at 19. Doing 50 or 200 would be little more complicated, and they could come in waves, a week apart.

Pleasant dreams.


  1. I will look forward to that Brother...I know I would be gone in a hot second if that shit showed up in the state...I know for a fact %95 of the guys I work with would be hunkered down also and that means no power and I'm sure my counter parts in the gas, sewer, and water side would say fuck it as well...So that means for you guys that not only will you be dealing with the chaos of the disease you would be dealing with a breakdown of society as well...So if you are still living in a major city and don't have an alternative plan and place to go then you're just spinning that cylinder every day you get up waiting for that one day it shoots you in the head...If you have a family then you really need to think about relocation...

  2. a abfab book for keeping onself awake is 'The Coming Plague," Lauri Garrett

    the hemorraghic fevers are not only located in Afreaka, but in CA and SA

    the CD = Inepticons state epidemiologists = junior Inepticons

    immigration should always've been a PubHealth issue. It ain't, go & conclude.

    Hell, the former director of Vladvilles' bioweapon program [Biopreparat] defected (?) and renamed himself Kent Alibeck, after being born in Trashcanistan as Akantjian Alibeckhov. He admitted they'd created a chimera bug-from-hell with smallpox infectivity and hemorrhagic fever lethality

    Name ? BlackPox if the muzz catch a clue this is what they'll do

  3. You are just a freaking ray of sunshine Mr Aesop... I saw this coming back in the 90's and got out of nursing then. No way a paycheck and the thrill of saving people was worth coming down with third world diseases and plagues. Toddlers from turd worlds coming into the hospital with methicilian resistent TB, diphtheria and other exotic diseases and no care from public health agencies when notified.

  4. John Ringo's "The Last Centurion" covers this well, very well, including the loss of services from first responders, health workers, truckers, energy suppliers, powerplant workers et al.

    Not a pretty picture. And we're all screwed.

    And if it's not Ebola, it will be Super-TB, or something with equal virility. Some of the latest info coming out of China in regards to bird and pig die-offs. It's always China for some reason...

    The world is too open and too 'just in time' and 'quick travel time.' There are no longer any built-in barriers to travel anymore. In some respects, the Steamship Era (with the extreme screening of immigrants) was the last, best period of quarantine-ability.

  5. Beans,

    And yet we still had the Spanish Flu Pandemic during WWI and the following years.
    The Black Death and a dozen other diseases sailed around the world in earler centuries too.

    You are correct, Jet travel will assure the spread of many diseases today. Look at SARS from a few years ago.

    Maybe? If the guy that brought Ebola to Dallas during the last Ebola epidemic had to sail across the Atlantic; would he have died on board that ship?


  6. rd:
    "...sail across the Atlantic, would he have died on board that ship?"

    sail, yes, steam, nope. Still, unless that sailing ship was quarantined like they used to with sickness on board, we would still be screwed. That might have been the best thing about sailing ships, crossing a large sea took long enough for most all deadly diseases to manifest and be seen. They even had a specific flag that had to be flown while dealing with a major illness, and it was required to be visible while anchored, to avoid anyone getting close. Something tells me we will be seeing it again.

  7. Some type of 'Slatewiper' virus brought to the 1st World will cause major 'pandalerium' as you describe. No one allowed to cross from and into territories with The Infected.

  8. If I were scheming to bring as much death and misery as possible, I'd make it a 1-2 punch. Send plague "suicide bombers" to travel across the country by plane for maximum exposure. When the disease becomes manifest, utility and emergency workers will start staying home, as you mentioned. Then I would activate non-suicide sleeper cells pre positioned to wreck critical electrical grid nodes, and stick around to ambush any workers that braved exposure to attempt repairs. NOBODY is gonna show up for work with ebola and violence threats.

    Bonus points? Do this in winter.

    Three days after the grid goes down, the vast majority of people in North America are out of food and water. No food, no water, no power, no heat, forced into ebola-plagued streets to fight with each other over fast vanishing resources.

    95% of the North American population would be dead by the end of two months from some combination of exposure, disease, and violence.

    All achievable by evildoers with nothing more than 10-20 plague bombers and a handfull of saboteurs with small arms.

  9. Tell me again why we HAVE to let the "refugee" caravan in?

    Mark D

    1. It's not a matter of "have to". It's a matter of "we" (you and I and Aesop) not being in control of the border or of our elected officials who are. Why do "we" have to let them in? We aren't. They are. And IF we are able to do anything about it, we haven't.

  10. I'm quite sure that the good folks at CDC, NIH, DOD, Ft. Detrick and Dugway have this all worked out. Top men.

  11. Want another layer of nightmare?

    A coordinated "Big E" attack, with the new arrivals simultaneously (i.e., deliberately) being infected with a cold. Who thinks twice about a person hacking and sneezing, even in a crowded subway. It's the season for it, after all.

    If I can think of it, I guarantee they've thought of it. And the "double bonus" would be that anyone actually infected would just conclude they caught a cold, and go about their business.

    I think I need to buy more food, and water containers. And a hand pump for my well, stat.

  12. overall, I agree that this is a big problem. The only problem with your scenario is that suicide bombers are difficult to recruit and have carry through their mission. There is a reason that in Iraq, the terrorists are targeting disabled people - there is also a reason that suicide vehicles often have a remote detonator, a timer, or both, in addition to driver controlled detonation.
    The better way to do it would be to have an antidote (or to dupe your people into thinking you do) and to equip your people with return tickets and a plan so they at least THINK they will survive. That is the way to get smarter, more capable people to carry out a mission like this one.

    Of course, there are no-illness ways to induce mayhem in a city, but they would take longer to have a national effect. One example is the paralysis of cities in Michael Williamson's Freehold.

    1. Why tell them? Infect your plague dogs and send them out with instructions to blend in, shop, socialize, and await further instructions in, say, thirty days...

  13. That was one of the more interesting Clancy novels.
    And terrifying.
    Hard to believe it's 22 years old, but I'm not shocked.

    That curse "may you live in interesting times" comes to mind.


  14. Yes the good folks at the Govmnt have it worked out. Yes, just like they have good response at all of the natural disasters. That is of course when there is only one problem location. With disease vectors you have to be in multiple locations. I read today that there are a limited number of shots available and it takes ONE YEAR to prepare a new batch. So the plebes get nothing and the elite and Govmnt get them all. Any plebe with any brains will hunker down to wait it out because going to a Govmnt camp (infection central) is not a good idea. Numerous people have written about what happens if the power goes off for a week and the cities begin to shut down. The Govmnt does not have enough troops, cops, fire, and every armed alphabet agency to really control any single major city that goes full riot never mind a dozen or more. What about medical supplies?

    You can be sure that all of their plans use isolation techniques by geography and assume everyone will cooperate and not try to reach their loved one who are not with them. What happens when the Govmnt starts using force against those who will not co operate. When the unvaccinated in the camps start to get sick will everyone decide to sit there and wait to die or will they try to leave. In the beginning maybe but who wants to watch their children or spouse die because of a well thought out Govmnt plan. The real plan is a triage plan. The elite and the Govmnt will get to survive in their bunkers and the plebes (you and me) will die. If you have any questions read a history of WWI and the difference between the elite officers and the plebes in the trenches. Substitute disease for war weapons and the result is the same. Elite survive and plebes die.
    So says Goose

    1. Goose you ever wonder why plebes are the way they are...

  15. The Coward's Way of War by Chris Nuttall covers this.

    In it, the derka derkas send one dude with some sort of disease to the US.

    He was optimistic, though. Someone traced it to the Saudis and Mecca got some canned sunshine.

  16. I read the 'White Plague' by Frank Herbert a (way) long time ago - scared the shit out of me then and remains lodged in the hard drive of my memory. Given the technology of today, the willingness of mankind to kill off others and just random chance, it seems like (one) of the most possible threats to everyone ....just saying, there are many dangers out there that no one seems to have any control over ...........

  17. To a degree, key infrastructure can be hardened and made a safe zone.
    Power stations for example have very little requirement for in and out of people.
    Workers, families, a medical, logistics and security team arrive and are tested, then no one in or out.
    Gas and oil are pipped in, electricity out, no human to human contact.
    Same goes for water.
    Food is the biggie, but again, some compartmentalisation is possible, processing is centralised and hardened, distribution door to door with no contact, delivery guy drops off box, knocks door, moves next door, resident opens and takes package in.

    Possible, but would require people be prepared to implement an absolute quarantine quickly.

  18. Piped in from where? By whom?

    Did you mean the folks who stayed home too, because plague conditions and quarantine.

    No one is coming to save you, and nothing is getting piped in but sunlight from space, and oxygen and water via the trophosphere.
    IOW, you can breath, and it might rain, and you get solar power. That's it.

    Anything else is as likely to fail in a pandemic as during an EMP, for the same reasons. The reliability of external systems at that point approaches zero.
    Anything else is a gift of caprice, not a plan.

    Planning to rely on magical fairy dust from unicorns won't cut it, sir.

    That's what happens when a pandemic hits a high-level trust system, which is what current civilization is.

    If you want to irradiate the Dark Continent first with several gigatons, and then terraform and recolonize it after the radiation half life runs out, before this pestilence spreads, we can talk.

    Otherwise, once the experiment gets out of the lab, cancel Christmas everywhere.

    If our so called leaders had the sense God gives a jackass, we'd have quarantined the entire continent decades hence and eradicated the problem, but that would require sensibilities and inclinations in them not evident since Caesar Augustus.