I’VE come to the realisation that if the world turned to crap, I wouldn’t fare so well.
This thought first popped into my mind when I was watching The Walking Dead on the weekend. In a dreary, depressing, post-apocalyptic world, I wouldn’t last 30 seconds.
Then yesterday, I read about a Gold Coaster who just returned from Bali and was immediately placed into quarantine, amidst fears they may have been exposed to measles.
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Measles is no fun at the best of times, but at its worst it can bring about life-threatening complications.
I’m not even going to touch on my thoughts and feelings around vaccinations and preventable disease, other than to say I hope this person has been immunised…
But in any event, this news story got me thinking about illnesses and pandemics on a grander scale. Specifically, Ebola.
On a parenting website I accidentally wandered into today, I noticed a thread about “preparing for an Ebola outbreak in Australia”. It seems that a bunch of middle-class Australians are stocking up on canned food and non-perishable crackers, just in case Ebola spreads to our corner of the globe.
“I may well do a tiny bit of preparation just in case,” wrote one practical parent.
“Not a lot, but a few more dry and tinned goods in the pantry and some water never goes astray.”
At first I scoffed. I snickered and judged, thinking these people must be the most over-anxious worrywarts that ever existed.
And then I did a little investigating. Ebola has been around for decades, quietly killing dozens of people every year. In the year 2000 it claimed 224 lives; in 1995, 254.
As of October 8, 2014, it had infected more than 8,400 people and killed over 4000.
These may look like numbers on a page, but they represent real lives – real people. Parents, children, aunties, friends. It’s so tragic that it’s hard to make sense of it.
Scientists are now predicting that there is a 75 per cent chance the Ebola virus could reach Europe before the end of October.
The risk of the disease spreading to Australia is said to be extremely low, so I don’t want to say anything that might stir up any unnecessary fear.
But I think I’ll buy a few extra cans of soup during my grocery shop this week, just in case.
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