July 6, 2007

The Smallpox Solution to AIDS in Africa
Bangkok, Thailand

I'm just waiting for the headline: "The Euthanasia of Africa."

I was listening to the radio when the station took a moment to force some news into my ears. With only noise pollution on the other stations, I reluctantly listened.

I can only take about 10-minutes of television/radio news per month. Every time I watch or listen, something is blowing up or a mother has drowned her child. Tragedy and controversy attract viewers, which sells advertising spots. Since 2005 I've been nearly news-free, and my life has been better tasting, and less filling because of it.

One of the news blurbs touched on this, the 30-year anniversary of the "eradication" of smallpox—an acute contagious viral disease. The announcement also noted that current technologies give us the ability to synthesize the disease in a laboratory, which is a growing cause for concern (regarding terrorism).

In an unrelated thought, the newscaster also noted that if an outbreak of smallpox were to occur in Africa, the mortality rate would certainly be 100% for those currently afflicted with HIV/AIDS (as their weakened immune systems could not handle the vaccine).

I heard this and instantly thought: How long will it be before some crazed radical decides to use smallpox as a biological weapon to purge Africa?

How would the world react to such a thing? I have no doubt that the majority would publicly denounce such a horrific act, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that many would privately shrug their shoulders, and go about their day.

Comments:

The Prudent Traveler

July 19th, 2007

Hi!

I hope you are having a good time over there in SE Asia. I am currently in the Crown Club Room in the Seattle Airport waiting for my delayed flight back to Atlanta…

That said I am glad I am not the only one who refuses to watch very much news on tv or radio. It is not that I am blocking out all the bad in the world. I am trying to avoid the over-exaggeration of the stories and the insane spin put on everything. Not to mention the commercials that I absolutely despise. I do watch Movies and shows from time to time but I have changed to TIVO where I can go forward and rewind as I please.

I am a backpacker at heart myself and wish you the best. Good to read that you got your items back from the waiter. Just another reason on the list of why I love Thailand.

Happy Travels!

Bobby

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