Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘epidemics

Who were sacrificed in ancient mass ceremonies?

Epidemics, Pandemics, calamities... Every century has its lot of mass deaths and massacre. In ancient periods, as easy and quick transportation was Not accessible to the masses, epidemics were mostly local.

Even wars were Not that widespread because armies were Not that large (forget what faked history recount of thousands).

Colonial massacres and decimation of autochtone people around the world.

Genocide on scales Never contemplated on ethnic basis, religious, basis, expansionist policies. American Indians in the North and South of the continent, Armenians, Jews, minorities, Christians (Catholics and Orthodox), Muslims in India and Myanmar, Congo, ISIS, Qaeda, Al Nusra, Israel apartheid policies on Palestinians, civil wars….

WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq… Not mention the hundreds of smaller pre-emptive wars by the colonial powers (particularly USA).

And yet, it is the viruses and bacterias that devastated empires far more than stupid wars.

An epidemic every 100 years?

– 1320, the black plague.
– 1520, smallpox.
– 1620, a strange disease.
– 1720, the plague of Marseille.
– 1820, cholera.
– 1920, Spanish flu.
– 2020, the coronavirus.

Not counting Ebola, HIV, Sars, aviary viruses, pig viruses, bovine epidemics…simply because these epidemics were mostly located in Africa

It should never cross your mind that human sacrifice of babies and kids targeted healthy members of the community: They could Not afford it for survival

It is the deformed and handicapped babies and kids that were sacrificed in mass ceremony in order to alleviate parents gilt and tame the intransigence of mothers in front of the pressure of the community.

I dare believe that after the sacrifice, monster orgies were organized intended to grieving mothers.

Mothers had the opportunity to have another go for children, before they sink into a long period of lethargy and apathy.

The pressure of community is palpable in societies were mobility is minimal

Tidbits #10

“Children are much easier to reach with advertising. They pick up on it fast. And quite often we can exploit that relationship and get them pestering their parents.”Stephen Colegrave

Pestering is one of the Power of children: Lucy Hughes has identified two distinct forms of pester power: “persistent nagging,” characterized by frantic whining, and “important nagging,” in which children present their parents with a reasoned case for the object of their desire.

The 10 largest fortunes with links to greenhouse gas emissions are valued at $537 billion.

What are the economic threats that could cause a recession? 

  1. Corporate debt in the US and emerging markets,
  2. the trade war, and
  3. An over-reliance on central banks are among the many imbalances that could contribute to a crisis this year. And now coronavirus and fear for tourism activities

Wuhan, China. Two hospitals are being constructed for coronavirus patients in a matter of days.Millions are watching livestream footage that shows a ballet of bulldozers and trucks racing to complete a 1,000-bed hospital by Feb. 3 and a 1,300-bed one a few days later.

Do you know that Chinese in large cities are confined in two dozens high rise building around a commercial center? Each of these “autonomous” compounds can host about 50,000 persons. No surprises that epidemics can spread quickly.

The Trump Administration’s decision to cancel a policy to eliminate all antipersonnel landmines reverses years of steady steps toward alignment with the 1997 treaty banning the weapons.

The last big locust crisis, in north-west Africa, lasted from 2003 to 2005 and caused an estimated $2,5bn worth of damage to harvests. ⁠Now the locust is spreading in East Africa.

At the point where the states of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand converge sits a casino “Laos Vegas”. ⁠ It is a palatial confection featuring faux-Roman statuary and ceilings covered in frescoes. Inside “Laos Vegas” the croupiers accept only Chinese yuan or Thai baht.

Of the 821 million hungry people on the planet, 60% are women

Last year the average income of the richest 1% of Brazilians was 33.8 times that of the poorest 50%, a ratio surpassed only by Qatar. ⁠

Bolsa Família (Family Fund), a conditional cash-transfer programme that supports millions of poor Brazilians, was once a model anti-poverty programme. ⁠Jair Bolsanaro started cancelling payments to existing ones. ⁠

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, stating “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Post-partum hemorrhage accounts for one-fourth of maternal deaths worldwide.⠀

Out of the dozens of articles I’ve read about the virus, I can only condense one helpful piece of advice: Wash your hands properly and dry them on clean towels.’ (Better, use paper towel). Paper face mask is a illusion

“The world today has very few institutions that can go out and do the reporting independently, powerfully, and that’s what I want to do,”

South Korea launched the world’s first air quality satellite. Chollian 2B will monitor fine dust and other air pollutants in the East Asian region. The information it will gather could pave the way for a new disaster relief communications system.

Cuba sent early on more Health workers to Ebola afflicted West Africa than the USA did

What Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti share?

These 4 different nations suffered calamities in the past decade: they were all struck by natural disasters which overwhelmed their under-staffed and under-funded public health systems.

Into the rubble, flooding, and chaos of these distinct cultures and contexts, Cuba dispatched a specialized disaster and epidemic control team to support local health providers.

It was a story of unprecedented medical solidarity by a developing country which few media outlets picked up – until now.

Conner Gorry in Havana posted in the Guardian Professional, Thursday 23 October 2014

Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the summit on Ebola in Havana
What can the governments of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia learn from Raul Castro’s health policies? Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

The Henry Reeve Brigade, as it’s known, was established in 2005 by more than 1,500 Cuban health professionals trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment; built on 40 years of medical aid experience, the volunteer team was outfitted with essential medicines and equipment and prepared to deploy to US regions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina (the offer was rejected by the Bush administration). Today, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade is the largest medical team on the ground in west Africa battling Ebola.

The small island nation has pledged 461 doctors and nurses to provide care in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the largest single-country offer of healthcare workers to date.

While United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decried the pallid aid commitment from around the globe calling for “a 20-fold resource mobilisation and at least a 20-fold surge in assistance” Cuba already had 165 of these specially-trained healthcare workers on the ground in Sierra Leone.

Each of these volunteers, chosen from a pool of 15,000 candidates who stepped forward to serve in west Africa, has extensive disaster response experience.

Preparation for this mission required additional, rigorous training at Havana’s Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine with biosecurity experts from the United States and the Pan American Health Organisation.

This rapid mobilisation of sorely-needed health professionals begs the question: how can a poor developing country spare qualified, experienced doctors and nurses?

By pursuing a robust medical education strategy, coupled with a preventive, community-based approach, Cuba, a country of just 11.2 million inhabitants, has achieved a health picture on par with the world’s most developed nations.

This didn’t happen overnight. Rather, Cuba’s admirable health report card results from decades of honing a strategy designed specifically for a resource-scarce setting.

By locating primary care doctors in neighbourhoods and emphasising disease prevention, the health system – which is universal and free at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels – makes care accessible and keeps people as healthy as possible, as long as possible, saving resources for more expensive treatments and interventions in the process.

But prevention and health promotion by community-based healthcare workers are only part of the story. Cuba’s policies and practices, both at home and abroad (currently more than 50,000 Cuban health professionals are serving in 66 countries) are built on several principles proven effective in resource-scarce settings.

First, coordinating health policies at the local, regional, and national levels is essential; this is particularly important where infectious diseases are concerned since uniform protocols are integral to containment.

Next, health initiatives must be cross-sectoral and based on integrated messages and actions. A fragmented, uncoordinated response by and among different agencies can prove dangerous and even deadly.

This was tragically illustrated by the death of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas and the US Centers for Disease Control allowing a nurse who has Ebola to travel on a commercial flight.

Finally, infectious disease outbreaks must be addressed quickly – easier said than done in poor settings, where public health systems are already strained or collapsing already.

The Ebola outbreak snaps the need for Cuba’s approach into sharp relief: only a coordinated response, provided by well-trained and – equipped primary healthcare professionals will contain this – and future – epidemics.

Indeed, policymakers such as World Health Organisation’s Margaret Chan and US secretary of state John Kerry have lauded the Cuban response, underscoring the importance of collaboration as the only solution to this global health crisis.

Forging this solution, however, requires harnessing the political will across borders and agencies to marshal resources and know-how. Havana took up the challenge by hosting a special Summit on Ebola with its regional partners and global health authorities on 20 October.

Noticeably absent were US health representatives; if we’re to construct a comprehensive, integrated, and effective global response, all resources and experiences must be coordinated and brought to bear, regardless of political differences. Anything less and Ebola wins.

Conner Gorry is senior editor of Medicc Review. Follow @ConnerGo on Twitter.

Cholera: The Greek Thucydides Story (February 24, 2009)

            In 430 BC Sparta was besieging Athens. People were flocking from the rural areas to Athens for protection. In this war, Greece and Athens experienced a cholera epidemic.

The Greek historian Thucydides related the horror.  He wrote:

“The plague had hit several counties and city of Lemnos was one of them.  Physicians were of no help because they had no idea what the epidemic was about: they were the first to be infected since they communicated with patients. People prayed, consulted oracles, and then gave up.

They say that the epidemic started in Ethiopia, swept through Egypt, Libya, and then hit the port of Pirea and Athens. People wanted to believe that Sparta poisoned the water wells, but casualties were heaviest in the higher areas of Athens.

People agreed that this year was very mild in ordinary sickness.  Individuals were stricken suddenly, whether they were very healthy or sickly.  The symptoms begin with acute heat in the head; the eyes are red inflamed,  the pharynx and the tongue are color of blood; respiration irregular; breath is fetid.  

The next phase starts with sneezing and the illness descends to the chest accompanied with violent coughing.  Then the patient experiences acute stomach ache, hiccups without vomit and then terrible convulsions.  The skin is not hot but reddish and covered with ulcers. 

The inside of the body is a volcano; nobody could suffer any clothing and it does not mater how often one drinks he is always thirsty.  Many died in wells trying to get refreshments.  Insomnia was the last stroke.

            During the first 7 days that the body is fighting off the disease, patients show signs of resilience and vigor. If patients go over the seven days then the disease reaches the intestine followed with diarrhea and atonement.  Those who outlived the disease were left with physical scars like lost fingers, lost eyes, and many loss of memory.

Most patients went into despair at the setting of the disease and contagion spread by mutual caring of parents and friends. The greatest numbers of victims are those who were confined in their residences and were thus abandoned. 

The most compassionate of “nurses” were those who managed to survive the disease on the belief that they could not relapse and that they would never succumb to any other disease.

            Those who suffered the worst were the rural inhabitants because they huddled in huts with no aeration.  The sacred places were the favorite locations to die.  All the customs for inhumations of cadavers were broken: people threw the dead in the fire reserved for other cadavers. Disorder was the name of the game.

Excesses in securing pleasure and voluptuousness were practiced by the most of sobers. Life and fortune were equally precarious. Nobody cared for divine wrath or later legal judgments since they were to die before then.  People wanted to experience what they failed to do so far.”

I had this funny idea: why the Athenians did not organize a regiment of its plagued citizens who were afflicted less than 7 days ago (since they are still active) and launch them to attack the Spartans while unfurling banners saying “We the plagued Athenians are attacking!”  It would be nice to observe the reactions of the brave Spartans.

Note:  I stated in a previous article on cholera that it appears from historical accounts that the afflicted Mogul armies did not experience the plagued until they reached humid regions and during summer

I wondered whether cholera blooms when people sweat profusely in unhealthy conditions. The consequence is that body fluid would be less saturated with salt or other alkaline compounds and thus, the cholera bacteria thrives abundantly and splits to a threatening cut off point. 

I suggest an experimental design for testing my hypothesis.  We prepare 8 conditions of body fluids; one very diluted in salt, one very concentrated, 3 conditions representing Mediterranean basin body fluids during the hot season, and 3 conditions from Mongolia and Central Asia during the hot seasons. 

If funding is appropriate, we could expand the experiment to include samples of body fluids during the hot seasons in regions close to where major rivers flow into seas and oceans such as the Amazon, the Congo, the Nile, the Mississippi, Ganges, Yang Tse, the Tiger and Euphrates, and the Indus Rivers. Good luck.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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