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Monday, October 6, 2014

ebola

EBOLA
At first, I gave about zero concern to Ebola ( fun filled fact- named after the Ebola River in Zaire where it was first discovered in the 1970‘s ).  I’m thinking, okay, this is a tropical disease.  After it spread farther and wider than ever before, it was STILL in tropical countries.  You know, nasty places where parasites swim up your junk, skin diseases perch on your ass and mosquito’s kill you ( and snakes frolic in the devil’s own backyard ).  Places where the only saving grace to living there is that it grows more than one crop a year and you need fuel only for cooking rather than for heating.  Places I don’t want to live-Florida was close enough and only petroleum makes living in a swamp fun enough for beach bums to describe it as paradise.  They were welcome to their 90% humidity, their cassava and their killer diseases.  Well, my minions derided and chastised me for my indifference, of course.  If your minions don’t try to keep you from looking stupid, then they are just simpleton bootlickers rather than loyal minions.  I still wasn’t all that concerned- after all, I’m almost completely alone on my anti-semi auto stand and I’ve yet to budge from that no matter what my readers profess.  Yet, coming home Friday afternoon, a random thought infiltrated my brain ( most likely due to a rare lazy day at work which allowed some cranial activity other than bitching about running around as if my ass were on fire ).  I recalled having a book that argued that the Black Death was a hemorrhagic fever rather than bubonic plague.
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The book is “Return Of The Black Death” by Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan.  Now, it isn’t all that easy to breeze through.  It is written for the layperson, but you can tell that they had to really work at padding it out to 300 pages.  It was a relaxed writing style, but it just went on and on for far too long.  I did devote almost all of Saturday to it, other than my long put off once yearly gun oiling that ate up two hours ( I have to retrieve some hidden ones ) and provided a break from the book.  The original part of the authors efforts was reconstructing events from parish records to prove the work of others who claimed that fleas could not have been the cause of the Black Death.  It seemed that around a hundred years ago, solely from the reports of the black armpit/groin swellings, bubonic plague was decried as the culprit and few since that questioned that ( it is so engrained in our learning that millions were spend trying to weaponize that disease, all to little success ).  Yet, as the authors show, this is clearly not the case.  Europe does not have a resistant rodent population.  There were no rats in rural England.  Bubonic plague spreads too slowly.  Temperatures were too cold for fleas.  The mortality was too low and you can’t spread it in Iceland.  Let’s look at each one of these.
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Not all rodents die from the bubonic bacterium.  Rats are highly susceptible yet voles and gerbils are not, for instance.  You need a fellow rodent population that ISN’T going to die from the disease in order to keep it in an area.  If all the rodents die, there won’t be a population to keep it around for the next outbreak.  Europe, alone among the habitable continents, has none.  It only has rats and once they are killed off the disease stops being harbored.  As far as rural rats, brown rats were not introduced to England until hundreds of years after the Black Death.  They are a much hardier species than the black rats-and the Blacks were the ones who were around for the Black Death.  The Blacks are not seen out of warmer countries except in port areas, and they are never seen more than a few miles from those ports.  They could not have spread the Plague to far inland areas.  In Iceland, there were two well documented Plague outbreaks.  Yet NO rats were reported in Iceland until hundreds of years later.  In England, it is too cold in summer for fleas to hatch.  As far as speed of spread, in 1907 in India bubonic plague spent six weeks to go one hundred yards and in South Africa it was moving a maximum of 12 miles a year.  That was with modern transportation.  With the start of the Black Death, when mortality was highest ( at start, it wasn’t unusual to have 70-90% of the population wiped out, but in 300 years that dropped to around 15% ), the travel rate was two thousand miles in three years.  With sailing ship the fastest conveyance. 
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Another important point was that bubonic plague victims show only limited signs of organ necrosis.  But the Black Death autopsies clearly showed advanced state of such.  Writings from the period make it very plain that human infection, person to person, was known to cause the disease.  Also, it became stand practice to implement a 40 day quarantine ( writings show that there was a very well understood preventive measures, even if the microbiologic understandings were nonexistent ), whereas bubonic plague has a much shorter infection period.  Today, there are regular bubonic cases, a person or three, and no plagues get started.  So, we are complacent.  Since we think the Black Death is dead and we have proven so successful in stopping it every year ( especially in the American West ), because we think it is flea driven bubonic plague rather than something else, we ignore it.  Yet, if it is a hemorrhagic fever, as the Black Death period writings seem to indicate ( describing three to five day infection to death, the runaway fever, insatiable thirst, vomiting dark blood, human fluid transmission ), it will be VERY easy to replicate the Black Death ( on a side note, very recently I read a reprinting on the Native Americans telling of the smallpox epidemic in the early years of Spanish invasion and to me, although I could easily be mistaken, it sounds pretty indicative of hemorrhagic fever with quick violent bleeding, flesh peeling death ).
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It seems quite possible that Ebola could be the new Black Death.  And if the Black Death WAS hemorrhagic fever like Ebola, then certainly Ebola can spread wide and far from the tropics ( experts believe that Africa is the home of most human disease births as man was there the longest and disease evolved there the longest ).  True, it slows down drastically in winter.  In some places, mostly smaller rural areas with lower population, say, under a thousand, it dies in the winter and doesn’t survive to spring.  But, yes, it DOES survive inside in winter, as a minion stated.  But, it also needs a neighboring warm and wet incubation spot.  France was that spot for England and North Europe.  The plague died after killing everyone it was going to and not reintroduced until the next merchant ship showed up from France.  In the US, Florida and the Gulf Of Mexico area is going to be perfect for incubating Ebola.  It will spread from there ( this is assuming a plague gets started ) to the northern and dryer areas, die off with the population ( remember, up to 90% die-off at first ) and be reintroduced with merchants traveling out to those areas again.  So, I do plead ignorance and ask forgiveness.  Ebola could be a very big deal to all of us ( for fear filled examples of the care NOT being taken in clean up with suspected carriers-such as no protective suits cleaning vomit and protective suit wearers ROLLING UP THEIR SLEEVES, keep up on Zero Hedge website ).  Still want to go to Wal-Mart last minute for shopping after the SHTF?
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28 comments:

  1. Three cheers for isolation. . . if you can find it.

    My wife worked in the lab of a rural NH Hospital. They saw weird tropical diseases all the time. You would not believe the number of people who would go from vacationing in Africa or the Amazon then fly up to hike the mountains of NH. Any tourist place could have diseases from around the world.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I can't believe the number of asswipes who go to those places NOW, after Ebola is this serious, and then come back to kill us all. And this is the end result of the lack of common courtesy.

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  2. So your post sez blame the French and nuke 'em from orbit - I'm so IN with that !!! :^)

    You make some great points, I'd never considered how the Black Death survived so long. It does make you wonder. Since ebola raised its ugly head, I've wondered if the Slate Wiper would ever jump the ocean to this side. We now have an answer.

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    1. Believe me, I'd rather have stayed ignorant. Now I've got something else quite serious to worry about.

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  3. Fun filled fact. They meant to name it after the nearest river. Turns out that ain't Ebola. So really it should've been Booga Booga, or something or other.

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    1. Fun Filled Semi-Factoid doesn't sound as good.

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  4. There is a semi-debunking here: http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2008/01/17/did-yersinia-pestis-really-cau-1/

    As one suspects, the authors of your book are cherry picking their data. That doesn't make what they say uninteresting, it just means you can't take it at face value.

    Seems to be a vacation along the Ebola River would be bolt action cheap. Think of all the junk land you could scope our for a really extended bug out.

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    1. Remember, the authors are not presenting original arguments. That was done by other scientists. They are merely advancing it. And while it might be wrong, it does seem to fill in a lot more holes than the bubonic argument. I just remind myself how adamantly against new ideas most scientists are and welcome new theories because of that.

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  5. glad i had mono in the 3rd grade, i'm immune

    are you done with the dangerfield/diva thing? i get no respect/ i quit

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Be fair. I've NEVER gotten any respect. I'm almost used to it. Lack of appreciation is a better description, although it is my own fault for jumping in to the game of free writing to advertise my other writing that every other swinging dingus was also playing.

      Delete
  6. Might this change your viewpoint regarding the probability of a slow- versus a fast-crash scenario?

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    1. It would, but the key thing to remember is that there will still be a short time frame the moneyed class will force through quick debt collection for escape funds. ie, your total credit card debt is called in, etc. I'd still be very worried about counting on the debt collectors leaving the game in your favor.

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    2. Spot on, LB. I agree completely, and history supports your assertion. The ordinary people (read "folks like us") who held mortgages in Argentina during the 2001 peso devaluation got their mortgages reset in a way that favored the creditors: "In order to alleviate the adverse impact of 'pesofication' on creditors, the government first (January 2002) indexed all retail loans to the consumer price index and subsequently (November 2002) to the wage-linked index due to the substantial price surge caused by the currency devaluation and high interest rates." (From "The Impact of the 2001 Financial Crisis and the Economic Policy Responses on the Argentine Mortgage Market " - http://www.areuea.org/conferences/pdf/papers/areuea website/Sumit Agarwal.pdf ").
      The introductory section of that paper puts it this way: "On the one hand, our results reveal a significantly higher prepayment rate of borrowers who are relatively wealthy or have a US$-denominated mortgage. On the other hand, we observe a significantly higher default rate of borrowers who are less wealthy or have Peso-denominated mortgage."
      Translation: The bankers will screw you to save themselves.
      What's the lesson here? Exactly what LB has been saying all along - don't have a mortgaged-to-the-hilt retreat. Instead, invest in junk land, wheat, low cost of living, and inexpensive transportation options.

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    3. Thank you. It's nice when I make half baked claims and others research why I'm right. :)

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  7. Good article Lord Bison. Its been a long week waiting. Ebola may very well be a game changer. Simple preps as you preach and Isolation may be all we can do if Ebola ravages this country. Enough said on that.

    I do support your Bolt action plan. I do have semis but I could afford them at the time. Your wisdom, ideas, humor, and one-liners are highly appreciated. I will see you next monday but I will still check daily hoping you get a wild hair to post.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sorry, no change of heart yet. It is a profound relief to NOT have to come up with subject matter daily. That monkey was on my back long enough. Still debating if I even want to write daily, taking on fiction.

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  8. This could be the big one. Ebola all over the place. if SHTF it will save lives .... of those that are prepared. I will join the Bison Army, if allowed with my large clan and they all can shoot and cook. Will Ebola live through our winter? If so we are screwed this spring!

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    1. You know you are welcome, of course. I think because ALL areas are overpopulated, the first winter will see the disease stay alive just fine. Winters after that, not so easy after central heating is gone and famine kills off most after war and disease takes a toll.

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  9. PS Your writing of late have been great. Keep preaching to the choir, it keeps them on the right path or they will fall aside. Your hair will be our guiding light.

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  10. Jeez,

    CPU crashed, didn't have a real MS disc, had to BUY a real disc, lost everything, rebuilding same, trying to figure out old passwords, STILL gotta send Jimbo that package (sorry Jim).

    So what have I missed? Silver still sub $18?
    Underemployment is starting at the Rat's house. No more OT. Talk about cutting to 32 hours a week. Lots of hiring.

    Gil

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Can't be paying any health bennies, right? Or is business down? Don't worry about a package if you're recovering from the computer cost.

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    2. I got a box of Mouse stuff just sitting here. I gotta get to the post office.

      I think they are looking to cut labor costs. Security and transportation are the 2 highest paid non-skilled hourly positions. Bus drivers are lucky to get 40 hours. I'm thinking we are next.

      BTW, a fellow worker was "caught" posting photos of himself with guests.

      G

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  11. RE- ebola or other infectious disease is bound to hit, and hit hard. Black plague hard.
    Modern hygiene practices and quarantine are the best defense for the population as a whole. And they will help the individual prepper too- but not enough. Eventually you will get something.
    And the population as a whole tends to let quarantine and hygiene practices slip when financial conditions get worse- why worry about washing your hands when you are starving? Why would you voluntarily quarantine if it will cost you your job and home?
    So the population will get it eventually.
    Oddly enough - outside of expensive or experimental treatments, or hygiene and quarantine procedures, there are other things that can be done/taken to reduce the mortality rate for you-
    1) be among the last to get it- viruses tend to mutate toward the less leathal as they go on. The first people to get sars died. the last people to get sars survived, the Spanish flu killed a smaller percent of the population with each wave.
    2) be aware that epidemics come in waves. Be alert to these waves.
    3) Over the counter medicines would seriously help those who have contracted Ebola. Most die of dehydration due to dieariha and vomiting. Pepto, syrup of Ipapec, and Gatorade mix could potentially save these people.
    4) have a strong body and immune system-
    5) have illness prepared household goods. Garbage bags to store soiled linens, infected use (only) toilette, sanitizers, easy to prep and eat foods (soup!)
    easy to access medical supplies, etc, etc.
    don't forget a setup that allows the house to support life without much maintenance for at least a few weeks! It would suck to freeze to death because you were to sick to stoke the wood stove... (back up propane heater?)

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    1. Great list. I'm looking at both pepto and Gatorade as my primary stocks here.

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    2. Thanks for reminding me-
      USE Lord Bisons Amazon links to order your bulk Gatorade mix, water filters and plastic bags!

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    3. I would say right now your #1 priority is the Sawyer sippy filter, good for 100k gallons for $20. Best bang for buck. Skip Gatorade mix, get it local. Waste of shipping expense.

      Delete
  12. I have an important question that has yet to be addressed on this website:

    What brands of shampoo, conditioner, and styling mousse will be used by the discerning gentleman in a post collapse world?

    Please answer promptly. I need to know so I can stock up before TSHTF.

    P.S. In order to fund the remaining construction on my cabin, I plan to star in a series of "adult" videos. The projected name of my character and alter ego is "Buck Nekked." The videos' humorous catch phrase will be, "Are you Buck Nekked?"

    You see, everyone has a gift. For you it's your hair. For me it's twelve inches of blue steel that must be committed to video for the sake of future generations.

    Since you're already in semi-retirement, you can be my manager. We can promote an entire line of post collapse products through the adult video industry.

    More on this next week.

    ReplyDelete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.