Posts Tagged ‘Ebola’

We underestimated ISIL and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army.

– James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, September 2014.

Here, take these. They will help you as much as anything if you are afraid of Ebola. There is a vaccine out there, but Big Pharma will not market it as long as the virus stays in Africa. Once it is here, on American soil, then they will cash in.

– Doc Kelly after tossing Vic Neverman a box of TicTac’s, May 2014.

All’s quiet on the western front page headlines, at least where war-torn Palestine and Ukraine are concerned. Instead, the hysteria du jour is the combo-meal blight against humanity: ISIS, Ebola and the rhetorical question on the side, “Were these crises exacerbated by American incompetence?”

Let us consider…

The Obama Administration’s consistent Foreign Policy of “Hold Your Breath and Hope it Goes Away” might work on horse-flies, but with Libya, Syria, Russia, ISIS(L) and Ebola, the diseases only festered and spread. Incompetence knows no political persuasion, the current Administration inherited a world riddled with holes after 8 years of the Dick Cheney Administration’s Foreign Policy of “Shoot First and Let God Sort it Out” (God, as it seems, is an absentee landlord and does not cleanup after His residents, which is how the rats took over the ship Iraq). What is absolutely certain is that we, the West, did not expect this Clusterfuckdom.

Ebola is on American soil and there is a chance worth considering ISIS is here too. If we underestimated these diseases over there, surely we are capable of such bad maths on the domestic front.

The Ebola epidemic will be cataclysmic, this much is inescapable. Developing Africa will be set back decades or more, with substantial damage done to their economy and infrastructure, let alone politics. America, however, is fine as long as Ebola does not evolve into an airborne plague. America will survive because Big Pharma will start churning out the pillboxes to manage the illness (management is more profitable than a cure). The 1st World will survive.

Islamic State of Syria and Such and Such... no big deal, really

Islamic State of Syria and Such and Such… no big deal, really

The ISIS (also known as ISIL, the difference being an Islamic State limited to Iraq and Syria and an Islamic State limited to Iraq and the Levant, which is the majority of the Eastern Mediterranean and the term of choice by the Obama Administration likely because there is a lobby group trying to keep Osiris’s wife’s out of the whole ordeal) threat is similarly cataclysmic – more so for the Middle East, than America, unless you consider gas prices. Rather than being physiologically passed from person to person like Ebola, ISIS is a meme, an idea which could occur to any lone-nut son-of-a-dick in East Paducah. If you look into the franchising of the ISIS brand, the requirements are startling little – you need to be a man (but not always), you need to not like Israel, you have to be at least moderately angry, you need no marksmanship or warrior skill at all just a willingness to shove explosive up your posterior and wait for an opportune moment to fart. You too can be the owner of an ISIS franchise, serving all of East Paducah with as little as $5 down and your life to go.

Is there a complex conspiracy scheme of Islamic fanatics in America? Most likely, no. Is there a threat of ISIS-inspired terror in America? Absolutely yes. A fanatical meme cannot be contained within the tainted sands between Damascus and Baghdad. Not with the internet available…

WINTER PARK, Fla

When it comes to the threat of ISIS sleeper cells, the bat-shit crazy survivalist militia crowd is sitting smug despite being just as bat-shit crazy as ever. I met my favorite bat-shitter, the author of Surthrivalism: Not Just Surviving in a Post-Apocalyptic World, but Thriving!, Cyrus Lee Hancock at a Middle Florida taco joint. He liked the venue, even if it was filled with hipsters.

“Do you know what hipsters are good for?” Cyrus Lee Hancock inquired. I guessed tacos. He answered his own question, “Target practice.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock's business advertised with his trademark Drop Bear

Cyrus Lee Hancock’s business advertised with his trademark Drop Bear

Cyrus Lee Hancock, if you read the transcripts of his ranted dictation, sounds like a curmudgeonly bastard older than sin, yet he is merely a youthful prodigy at the miser trade, the same age of the antagonistic hipster Millennials (roughly 30, give or take a few energy drinks). His disposition, when he is not ranting, is one of cavalier indifference – he appears aloof, staring into space as if trying to remember a grocery list, his eyes glassy and faraway. It’s all a ploy, however – a ruse to lure the fly into the trap. Once your guard is down, he’ll have a fork in your Achilles tendon or a chop-stick up a nostril until it is tickling your temporal lobe. And so I decided on tacos.

Vaya con dios, motherfucker.” Cyrus Lee Hancock saluted the burrito in his basket prior to attack.

How is the survivalist militia community responding to these threats at home? Cyrus Lee Hancock offered to show me a text from one of the fanatics in his Gun Rights Book Club back in Nashville.

Wolf is @ the door. Just read Australian ISIS cell in Australia story. Need to keep stocking up (on ammunition, artillery, barbed wire, etc.). Don’t want to get caught flat-footed.

– Barry von Doom

Indeed, Barry, the wolf is at the door.

Fuck you ISIS, your shitty carsalesmen

Fuck you ISIS, you’re shitty carsalesmen

“Fucking ridiculous, bro.” Cyrus Lee Hancock deleted the message with his typical cavalier indifference. “But here’s the thing. These ISIS fuckers are killing women and children first. They are crucifying Christians and beheading any westerner they can find within a camera lens. They have literally, like for the whole purpose of using the term ‘literal’, created rivers of blood by dumping their murdered victims into rivers. They are morbid, like, fucking mor-bid to the point of being medieval barbaric. Which is why I come to you. You’re the crusade historian. If ISIS occupies American territory as sleeper cells, what sort of medieval defenses can we put up to thwart their fucking savagery? Barbarians at the gate, bro. They’re knocking, how we gonna answer?”

Cyrus Lee Hancock, it should be noted, has been actively preparing himself for just this sort of showdown for the last twenty-five years. He is a gunsmith who obtains gun pieces like random Lego bits at whichever gun shows he can purchase anonymously (thanks exaggerated 2nd Amendment) to later piece together his dream gun, of which he has a nightmarish arsenal. He has purchased suppressors…

“Wait, what?” I asked. “You own a silencer? Why the hell is it legal for a common citizen to own a silencer?”

“It isn’t legal.” Cyrus Lee Hancock admitted. “For an individual to own a noise suppressor for a gun, however, it is legal for a legal trust to own a suppressor.”

“Fucking rubbish.”

“I would like to introduce you to the Legal Trust of Cyrus Lee Fucking Hancock!”

Cyrus Lee Hancock, or at least the Legal Trust of Cyrus Lee Fucking Hancock, is a gunsmith with enough ammunition to take back Crimea and he is building a compound outside Nashville, TN, to rival the one we (he, the delightful water-nymph from the Everglades wife of his and me, Vic Neverman) shared during the Maya Apocalypse of 2012. Cyrus Lee sees himself resilient against the next apocalypse, regardless of its nature, and is preparing himself for an extended siege by the state police, his sinning heathen neighbors, uprising robots, zombie hordes, talking apes, or, perhaps, ISIS terror cells.

“Shit’s gonna get Medieval, man. So hit me. What can I expect? What can I do to defend?”

“Hmm.” I thunk before lecture.

In a world with ISIS comingling with Ebola, you could have a replay of the Athens v. Sparta match where plague victims were catapulted over city walls, just this time it would be Ebola victims catapulted over the walls of the Grand Ole Opry. The Mongols fought the Romans similarly epochs later when the Bubonic Plague was just a fledgling cough & boil act, which helped spread the Black Death throughout Europe. Such debased deviancy shan’t be overlooked by today’s fatalistic douche-bag terrorist.

ISIS Executions

ISIS Executions

The best Crusade Era Fortress had a high outer wall, with a death valley between it and the internal wall, which should be higher than the outer so defenders on the inside ramparts could help in the defense of the outer wall. When you are dealing with a siege, you are going to have to deal with sappers and ladders. The sappers will dig tunnels under your walls in attempt to blow shit up beneath you. Ladders will be laid upon the walls if the enemy has enough men to sacrifice in attempt to gain a position atop your walls – think Benghazi 2012. These days, the battering ram has been replaced with the kamikaze truck bomb – think Beirut 1983. Siege Warcraft has its priorities and right after starving, poisoning, suffocating, scaring the shit out of the opponent, getting through the walls is the prime directive.

Counter-measures against a siege would include boiling tar or oil the defender could rain down upon the enemy as the invader attempted to scale the walls. These days, car batteries and flaming bottles of Fireball cinnamon booze will do. Scorpion bombs were all the rage a millennium ago – you just need a ceramic pot to bottle up venomous ne’er-do-well creatures and fling it at the enemy – it’s a psyche-fucker as much as anything. And if the ISIS terrorists are charging atop elephants they stole from the zoo, Crusader wisdom says let loose with flaming bacon: grease up a bunch of pigs with something flammable then set light and send them after the elephants. Of course, a flaming pig is hard to control and the porcine conflagrant might run right back where they came from, so close the fucking slide glass door you dipshit!

Asia Minor, several stories beneath the ground where the dwarf urinals lay in wait

Vic hundreds of feet underground in Persia, attempting to use the ancient dwarfish urinals of Cappadocia.

To withstand a siege, you need the necessaries: shelter, food, water, guns & ammo. After that, secrecy is a virtue. In Asia Minor, I explored an underground bunker in Cappadocia a thousand and some change years old where ancient Christians hid as the marauding barbarian hordes rode through town. Four stories worth of underground city was built then and still exists today as a meandering Tolkien dwarf retirement community. It was there I found my idyllic off-the-grid home, only to learn my companion was a trained seductress sent to Istanbul to spy on Americans by order of Beijing, but stories, another time… etc.

Are things irreversible? Is this the destiny we must prepare for?

Irreversible, yes, but also containable. Regardless, a world of plague and jihadi jackrabbits must be anticipated. To not prepare would be negligence. This may not be the year a hurricane strikes, but you will still want to be ready for the storm.

And the climate is only getting warmer.

Any kid growing up between Djibouti and Kashmir could see his uncle, sister, pet rock blown to fucking bits courtesy of an American Predator Drone on a bright blue-sky day. Living under a repressive heaven associates an ill-menace with blue skies and the notion of America. They do not see America as the great purveyor of freedom – they do not know what freedom is. The greatest recruiters of tomorrow’s terrorists is, unfortunately, us, the US, the West. Violence begets violence where little exists beyond retribution.

“For fuck’s sake.” Cyrus Lee Hancock derided me. “You sound like a bleeding-heart liberal hipster. You are depressing my burrito. Look at it! It is crying tears of Sriracha sauce.”

“Whatever, asshole.” I responded within the taco joint. “You’re as much a hipster as the rest of them.”

“Blasphemy!” Cyrus Lee Hancock spat and looked for a fork.

Appendix H: Why is Hipster? featuring Cyrus Lee Hancock

CNN reported today that 1 in every 4 American is afraid of Ebola. Anderson Cooper thusly led his news program with the more popular Joan Rivers malpractice story. Why? Because vocal reconstructive surgery is at the forefront of perceived threats in America. Blatherskite, all the fuck of it.

(no offense, Joan)

I am here to speak to the 75% of Americans allegedly not afraid of Ebola. It is time to pay attention. Over 4,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths in countries like Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone may seem far enough away to encourage your obliviousness and this would be a mistake. Obama is sending 3,000 American troops to West Africa to contain this virus and for good reason. Even if the optimists are right and Ebola never makes its way to the United States, you – Sir, and you – Ma’am, need to wipe the chicken grease off on your shirt, slurp or snort your favorite stimulant of choice, dig your head out of the sand and take a long hard look at the ugliest, nastiest, scariest elephant in your room.

Ebola.

Looking at the mathematics in a report published by Eurosurveillance (which sounds creepily like a department of the NSA), Ebola during stretches of the outbreak created 2 new patients for every sick person who had contracted it. Ask the CDC – anything above a 1:1 ratio (called “R 1”) and you have an outbreak that could become a pandemic. Eurosurveillance suggests there could be an additional 277,124 cases by the time you ring in the New Year committing whichever social atrocities you insist upon after a tame 2014. This is bad in many ways, even if you wake up on 1/1/15 healthy and fully aware of where your pants are.

See some startling images by Peter Muller on Wired.com…

What are the worst case scenarios?

Peter Muller's photo of Red Cross burial workers

Peter Muller’s photo of Red Cross burial workers

Keeping the virus contained in villages is relatively easy, but once it goes metropolitan in the large cities of West Africa, where migrants from the country live in slums, this pandemic gets pandemickier. This virus is considered easy to contain (though the survival of the patient is questionable) because it can only be transmitted through bodily fluids… for now. The Ebola virus is evolving quickly and may very soon mutate into a sickness transmittable through the air. Such a scenario would completely destabilize the developing nations of West Africa. The United States is stepping in to take the lead in cornering this rabid possum to put it down before any more fuss is made. It is the right decision.

The Fall of Rome some 1500 years ago is commonly attributed to the marauding barbarians at the gate, but there is so much more to the decline. A tragic climate event in the 6th Century decimated the harvests around the world, forcing the migration of tribes out of the Asian Steppe and the wandering rats infested with bubonic fleas onto merchant ships. Do a little dance, turn yourself around and you have Mongols catapulting plague victims over the besieged walls of Western Civilization. It wasn’t just the poor harvest that brought the Roman/Byzantine Empire to ruin or the Mongols or the plague acting as the catalyst… it was the mass extermination of tax payers that ushered in the Dark Ages.

Climate issues, plagues and barbarians playing by their own rules… Nothing to see here, folks.

WINTER PARK, Fla

I ventured to the cobbled streets of Winter Park, an affluent area of Middle Florida, to visit with my own physician, Doc Kelly. Doc is more herbalist businessman than a medical doctor, but due to his affinity for nurses and modern medicine, he is a wealth of wisdom and experience. For this doctor’s visit, I ventured into the underground bunker built by the Brahmin’s Club out of an old bank vault. Doc Kelly and the aristocratic elite of Middle Florida furnished this bunker to keep them well-nourished in the case of various cataclysmic scenarios: race war, zombie attack, Maya Apocalypse, Obamacare and/or rise of the robots.

Doc in the Brahmin's Club Bunker under Middle Florida

Doc in the Brahmin’s Club Bunker under Middle Florida

“Chiggers again.” Doc shook his head at my pock-marked ankles. “I prescribe three fingers of gin and a twist of lime for the scurvy.” Doc Kelly fixed us a drink before relaxing in one of the Brahmin’s Club captain chairs, “In the case of an extended bunker stay down here, we would run out of food and air long before we ran out of refreshment.”

Cheers! I clink’d my glass to his. First one of the day! he admitted, rather falsely, because tradition.

Cutting to the chase, “Give it to me straight, Doc. What of Ebola? How bad is it?”

Doc scratched his dome as he gazed as the steel-reinforced ceiling of the bunker, “Let’s see…”

Doc Kelly himself tossed me a pillbox. “This will help you as much as anything if you are afraid of Ebola.” The pillbox was a clear plastic container of Tic-Tacs. “If you want extra advice: when you are in Africa, make sure you don’t get cut by anything at all and if you do get cut, amputate. Make sure you don’t rub your eyes, or cry for that matter because your tears will probably suck the bubonic dust particles from off your eyelashes. If you are going to keep your beard, do not lick your chomps. Do not pick your nose! Picking your nose is the surest way to send particles of camel feces straight to your brain. Don’t touch any water and certainly don’t drink it. Have a beer with every meal, even breakfast. If your hosts don’t have beer because of the Quran, drink a shot of Listerine for Allah’s sake.”

– Doc’s Advice for visiting Africa in May 2015’s MERS Surge blog

“It’s like this, Vic. Have you ever caught your finger in a door jam? Well, now imagine your whole body – your brain, your scrotum, your knee caps getting door-jammed. Ebola makes the Spanish Flu look like something you order off a taco truck.” The thought of tacos spurred Doc on and he started to gain momentum. “Yeah, you know the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’, where you have skeletons wandering around, some of them people in costumes and others aren’t skeletons, you just swallowed the tequila worm and suddenly think you have x-ray vision? Ebola is like that, except you are the worm.”

America be warned…

ORLANDO, Fla

I suggest remaining calm.

Trust me, I am a scientist.

But I am not the boss of you, freak-out if you feel so damned inclined.

Two healthcare professionals have been diagnosed with MERS in Orlando, making Central Florida the epicenter of the MERS epidemic in the Americas. I don’t believe in irony, I believe in absurdist causality. If I did believe in irony, I would probably have a mustache. Nevertheless, I, Vic Neverman, Orlando’s most-renowned paranoiac, have been studying MERS entire weeks before its unexpected arrival here. Was this uncanny foresight on behalf of your narrator, who anticipated the arrival of the Camel Flu? Yes. In FACT: I am the only scientist calling MERS “camel flu” evidencing how far ahead of the rest of the pack I am.

Give it weeks and you will find my name cited in scientific journals and CDC pamphlets, perhaps even speaking on CNN with Sanjay Gupta or, fingers-crossed!, on News Night being interviewed by Sloan Sabbith over a couple casual cocktails and indecent foot rubs.

"Oh Sloan, don't be silly!  Of course I know my way around a camel!"

“Oh Sloan, don’t be silly! Of course I know my way around a camel!”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT mers (BY VICTOR ULYSSES NEVERMAN):

MERS Rule#1: keep camels out of your workplace, even on Wednesdays

MERS Rule#1: keep camels out of your workplace, even on Wednesdays

MERS is the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and symptoms include flu like symptoms. 30% of those diagnosed with MERS have died of pneumonia or other respiratory failure. Of course, mild cases would never be reported, so this thirty percent is quite a bit exaggerated. Still, MERS’ Asian cousin SARS only has an 11% mortality rate in comparison.

We are uncertain how MERS is transmitted, but it seems to be in relation to camels in some way. 75% of camels in Saudi Arabia either have or have had MERS at some point. Possible ways camels may have passed MERS to the first human: patient zero drank unpasteurized camel milk, patient zero ate cheese made of unpasteurized camel milk, patient zero ate camel meat, patient zero exchanged saliva with beast of burden of choice, patient zero exchanged other bodily fluids with camel by buggering the beast of burden consensually or by force, patient zero drank urine of a camel – which is a medicinal tradition in parts of the Middle East because superstition is weird. Once patient zero(es) contracted MERS, the coronavirus likely was transmitted to other humans via coughing in people’s face.

A bat has also been known to have MERS. It is possible cats and baboons have flung MERS around by shitting it everywhere as they are prone to do. Keep this in mind Orlando: keep your cats and baboons in check!

The biggest concern for the spread of MERS will be this summer’s Hajj season as pilgrims from throughout the Muslim World (everywhere, but most concentrated between Morocco and Malaysia) go on their pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is considered to be one of the Pillars of Islam every devout Muslim is to partake in once in their lifetime. The journey back from the MERS minefield of Saudi Arabia is what is most disconcerting.

My journey of discovery began innocently enough a couple weeks ago. Being something of a swashbuckling adventure capitalist en route to Northern Africa, I had reason to be curious about coughing camels.

MERS Rule #2: don't get fresh

MERS Rule #2: don’t get fresh

My longtime associate, Doc Kelly, has a clinic in Central Florida where he hires various nurses of an assortment of qualities to work after-hour shifts providing inoculations to paranoids. If you are skeptical of government healthcare and being on their radar, you can pay cash at Doc Kelly’s. If you don’t want to get your flu shot or shingles cure from BigPharma, trust Doc’s homemade remedies. I had arrived for inoculations against Typhoid and the entire Hepatitis Family. While there, I inquired about MERS. At that time, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome was but a blip on the Center for Disease Control’s radar and in-truth, I was asking questions just to prolong conversation with my nurse, a certain Miss M. Her blue eyes melted my ice cream as she recommended taking vitamin C and not becoming a camel jockey. Simple enough. I then asked her about Ebola, the nasty plague resurfacing in Western Africa. Nurse M told me I should wash my hands and be careful around raw chicken.

I was pretty sure raw chicken was not spreading Ebola. Nurse M’s confusion would be natural for anyone who wasn’t a nurse. But beautiful people deserve second chances, do they not? Shouldn’t I have left well enough alone and rewarded her with an invitation to dinner, “Say, I know this great Korean Taco truck”? But, the thing is I abhor a knowledge vacuum and sought to fill it. My lone regret is not having more couth when correcting Nurse M, “Yes, well, I believe you are thinking of e-coli…” A more culturally/socially refined Neverman wouldn’t have had to end the conversation with, “so the food trucks are out, then?”

Hours later, over a couple of pints at The Copper Rocket, Doc Kelly himself tossed me a pillbox. “This will help you as much as anything if you are afraid of Ebola.” The pillbox was a clear plastic container of Tic-Tac’s. “If you want extra advice: when you are in Africa, make sure you don’t get cut by anything at all and if you do get cut, amputate. Make sure you don’t rub your eyes, or cry for that matter because your tears will probably suck the bubonic dust particles from off your eyelashes. If you are going to keep your beard, do not lick your chomps. Do not pick your nose! Picking your nose is the surest way to send particles of camel feces straight to your brain. Don’t touch any water and certainly don’t drink it. Have a beer with every meal, even breakfast. If your hosts don’t have beer because of the Quran, drink a shot of Listerine for Allah’s sake.”