Sunday, November 02, 2014

Unclean Unclean

During the Black Death, while plague killed a huge proportion of the World's population there were some places that managed to escape mass outbreaks all together- Poland and Milan most notably. Milan adopted a rather brutal but effective strategy of walling up the homes of anyone infected with the disease with the occupants inside, there seems to be less clarity over how Poland avoided it, but one theory is that they pretty much close the borders as well as a medieval state could.

The most effective strategies for countering the plague were the most offensive to individual rights and personal liberty. A major outbreak of an infectious disease is one of the few times where it is justifiable to put the collective good above individual rights. The outcry over a relatively minor quarantine period for those people who have been at the heart of the Ebola infected region of West Africa is not based on "the science" which is contentious, but on knee jerk ethical preening.


Macheath said...

Well said!

I have to admit to being baffled that someone altruistic enough to work in an ebola infected region should then come home and insist on their right to free movement when the sudden onset of symptoms - however unlikely - might lead to them infecting someone else.

It does occur to me that Europeans are generally taught in school about the Black Death and later outbreaks of plague; the USA has no comparable history and I rather doubt the topic appears on their general school curriculum.

Ross said...

The USA and all of the Americas does have some comparable history, it's just that the current inhabitants are mostly descended from the beneficiaries of the plagues which wiped out most of the native population.

JuliaM said...

"...baffled that someone altruistic enough to work in an ebola infected region should then come home and insist on their right to free movement .."

Ah, where you are going wrong, MacHeath, is assuming - as people do - that what motivates this person is altruism.

Mark said...

The fact that some African countries (eg Kenya) have closed their borders to citizens of Ebola affected countries receives less attention from the MSM here, quelle surprise, who would prefer to keep the spotlight on Oz or Singapore.

What is left of The Left here plays on the White Man guilt meme incessantly. A good throwaway example was on C4 News about a week ago, when Jon Snow pondered out loud if the NHS was somehow partly to blame because some of the many foreign nurses in employs come from Sierra Leone. We are 'depleting the capacity' of that country to cope with Ebola, apparently. Of course, if the UK revoked the leave to remain of these Sierra Leonean nurses, on the reasonable grounds that they should assist in the national emergency back home, Snow and his ilk would be the first to shout 'wacist' at such a move.

Ross said...

Jon Snow is beyond parody.

James Higham said...

Charming topic around dinner time, Ross. :)