I really don’t care too much about germs in general, but I’ve always been a sucker for a good end-of-the-world scenario.
I’ve been writing and posting articles about the Ebola outbreak — for example, this one, in August, in which I noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had promised to get a huge team of 50 Ebola care providers to Liberia within, roughly, 30 days — as stories were starting to appear about dogs eating the Ebola corpses rotting on Liberia’s streets.
The general reaction was, “Why are you blogging about a virus that kills some people in Liberia? Who cares?”
On the one hand, to some extent, OK, that was true then and is true now. Public health officials likely will get a grip on Ebola. It seems to be a little more infectious than they thought, but, OK, everything in life costs more and takes longer than we expect.
But, on the other hand, there are plenty of nasty killers where Ebola came from. Take, for example, our old friend influenza. In 1918, the flu pandemic was so deadly that it was killing the life insurance company workers as they were trying to process the other victims’ death claims.