Tag: parasites

Quote of the Day: On Modest Talents

 

“There are few modest talents so richly rewarded — especially in politics and the media — as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.” – Thomas Sowell

More Sowell food for the brain. This quote seems appropriate today. We can expect four years (or more appropriately four more years) of Democrat operatives (in both politics and media) portraying parasites as victims, and demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights. We saw it all last year with BLM critical race theory and Antifa. Over the next four years we shall see this trend no longer constrained at any level by the Federal government, but rather with the Federal government cheerleading those attempts.

Nearing a Sunset on Monsters

 

shutterstock_200494427Some months back, I wrote about how the Guinea worm — a vile and disgusting parasite that used to infect millions in Sub-Saharan Africa — is now on the brink of extinction. There is more good news on the war against two similar parasites. First, and amazingly when you consider just how recently we were powerless against it, polio appears to also be on the verge of eradication. Second, and though we’ve a very long way to go yet, we’re making significant headway against malaria. It’s entirely possible that both of these scourges could follow smallpox into the history books within our lifetimes; with polio, perhaps within the next decade or so.

It’s difficult to overstate how significant the progress has been, especially in Africa, or how heavy the human cost these diseases have wrought. As recently as the year 2000, malaria killed about 850,000 annually; it’s about half that number now. Polio infected about 350,000 in 1988; it was down to a few hundred cases earlier this decade and it’s in the low dozens now, restricted to three countries (Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan). When you consider the human costs endured by so many people for so long, it’s little wonder why some places have struggled to develop.

Getting over the finish lines with these diseases will be an extraordinarily difficult, expensive, and unspectacular affair. For polio — for which the vectors are relatively easy to control — this likely means keeping up what we’ve been doing, albeit under awful circumstances with regard to Pakistan and Afghanistan (bear in mind that polio vaccination programs there were, quite literally, subject to a CIA-sponsored conspiracy). For malaria, it’ll take an ever-changing combination of strategies, including vaccination (a weak one has already been approved and stronger ones appear to be in the pipeline), new products, better deployment of existing ones, mucking around with mosquito genomes, and lots of monitoring. So, so much monitoring.

Member Post

 

In his book, Up Front, the great WWII cartoonist, Bill Mauldin, recounted an incident that describes today’s United States all too well.  The army had shipped new combat boots and jackets to Italy for the frontline troops.  Unfortunately, soldiers in the rear echelon pilfered many of the clothes before they could reach the men in […]

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