Saturday, 18 October 2014

09:16 – One of the commenters yesterday posted a link to an article from the Weekly Standard that’s worth taking the time to read: Six Reasons to Panic

Actually, I can add a seventh, that no one ever talks about outside scientific papers. The body fluids of someone who recovers from Ebola may remain infective for at least a year, and possibly indefinitely. The recovered patient becomes an asymptomatic carrier, much like Typhoid Mary, and, like Typhoid Mary, the only solution is to quarantine that person indefinitely until they are no longer shedding the virus. Or until an Ebola vaccine becomes generally available. So we could end up having to have Ebola Colonies, much like the Leper Colonies of antiquity.

Someone emailed me yesterday to ask what I thought the chances were of Ebola breaking out in the US and what I would do if it did. I told him what I’ve been telling friends and neighbors: that in the absence of sufficient data my SWAG is that the probability of that happening is somewhere between 0.001 and 0.01. That makes it an unlikely event, but even 0.01 is much, much too high given the consequences.

As to what we would do, we’d operate on the principle that you can hide but you can’t run. We would shelter in place, not leaving our house and yard for any reason. The best defense would be to have the necessary stores in place to allow us to isolate ourselves in place for weeks to months. And, although we continue to encourage our family, friends, and neighbors to build their own emergency stockpiles of food, water, and other necessities, we will continue to build our own stockpiles to make sure we have some excess to share with those family, friends, and neighbors who are not prepared.