Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hard Call in 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the impeding health crisis that is festering inside the Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Wall Street camps. As the day went on, I could not leave alone what I wrote and its implications. And my sense of deja vu kicked in as I remembered I had wrote a post on pandemics.

In 2008 I wrote The Hard Call. In it I discussed pandemics in fiction and reality in relation to new guidelines that were being formulated on who to save in case the whole world was struck by something akin to the Spanish Influenza outbreak. Since I wrote that post, the original news article link has vanished so I found another one that reports the same information. The guidelines boil down to trying to save the people most needed to rebuild a civilization. People over 85 would be out of luck which promoted some civil rights lawyers to get annoyed.

Tuberculosis and Norovirus are airborne diseases. Both cities in question are dense urban areas. Alarm bells are going off in my head. First because of the facts I just listed. Secondly because both cities are major airline hubs so infected people could get on planes and carry their illness to cities as yet untouched. We have been worried about H1N1 leveling the world, it frightens me to think of these Occupy protestors as two-legged versions of the rats who brought the Black Death to Europe. But that possibility exists.

I earnestly hope the people in New York City, Atlanta, CDC, FEMA, DHS, and the White House are podering this possibility. And that they are doing things to correct it before a pandemic erupts and the hard call has to be made on who lives.


Six said...

Great post Anna. This is how widespread death by disease begins. You have a small population where the virus is transmitted back and forth providing it the perfect environment for mutation and adaptation. Because of contamination by outsiders, the disease has a vector to greater society where it spreads and firther mutates. It's frightening.

Anna said...

Very frithening indeed. At least Mayor Bloomberg sent in the police to clear out Zuccotti this morning. But the tools and their lawyers are not taking it well. So stay tuned.

nzgarry said...

Well,yes to both Six and Anna.
I read the other day that the black death plague in Europe (13-14century?) was not the bubonic plague, but something else that no-one really knows about. Until I read this I thought they were just recurrences of the same.
Personally, I'm an optimist, but cannot help but to reflect on how the mobile first world is so vulnerable to virulent pathogens.
Good old human ingenuity will see us through but I suspect at the price of much human suffering

Anna said...

nzgarry. Rational beings worry about such as the Black Death and take precautions like proper hygiene and sanitation. Then there are the protestors who think their feces is beautiful and not their concern.

Who really needs SARS when there are drug resistant other diseases on the loose. Or what if Smallpox gets released back into the world. We live in an age of marvels taht can turn around and kill us if we are not wise. This applies to airline travel as well as nuclear weapons.