If the world turned to crap…

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.


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.

The Meddler

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