Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pestilence

Zika Virus Means Brazil’s 2016 Olympics Must Not Proceed - TIME
Time magazine reports: "The outbreak that began in the country’s northeast has reached Rio de Janeiro, where it is flourishing. Clinical studies are also mounting that Zika infection is associated not just with pediatric microcephaly and brain damage, but also adult conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which are debilitating and sometimes fatal. Simply put, Zika infection is more dangerous, and Brazil’s outbreak more extensive, than scientists reckoned a short time ago. Which leads to a bitter truth: the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession."

Comment: Ok, let's see if I'm getting this clearly. The country that is ground-zero for a communicable disease outbreak that is getting worse and for which there is no cure is set to host  an international event that will draw thousands of people there and then send them back home to their native lands. Some experts are suggesting that this big international event be moved or at least postponed as a precaution. That seems prudent. Unfortunately, the big international event in question is the Olympic Games, which means millions of dollars in corporate sponsorship, advertising, and state sponsored preparations have already been spent on this event even before the opening ceremony begins. The money that has already been spent and will be spent before the games are over suggest to me that the desire for a return on the investments made will override any health concerns the experts may have. Does anyone really doubt that corporate sponsors are willing to risk the health of the athletes, spectators and world press for the sake of profits? Never underestimate human greed. I think there is only one conclusion we can reach: the Olympics will not be canceled, postponed or moved.

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