The plague

>> Sunday, January 11, 2009

It starts innocently enough: a single reported incident in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962. By 1970 there are a mere twenty verified accounts in a small cluster centered on Arkansas and Missouri.

And then, spontaneously, in the 1980s, containment is breached. We may never fully understand the causes, or, beyond the causes, the existential whys and wherefores, but the epidemic spilled across the United States and peppered the east coast, decimated the midwest, and showed some penetration into the central states and west coast. Government is helpless, scientists useless, theologians and philosophers overwhelmed. At this point, it's too late: drastic military action, including the use of nuclear devices, would be catastrophic and would decimate the few civilian resisters in the haunted, staggering cities, towns and villages.

It's just... how do you say "no" to all those low, low prices under one roof?

"Watching The Growth Of Wal-Mart" at FlowingData is an ominous Flash-based map in which the spread of radioactive-goo-green Wal-Mart outbreaks can be seen spreading across the United States like a display in a zombie apocalypse movie. The author is apparently working on setting the map to music--perhaps he might see about getting permission to use the opening theme from Day of the Dead.

Hope you're having a good weekend, meanwhile.


Michael Rawdon Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 2:07:00 PM EST  

Well I was having a good weekend... ;-)

Random Michelle K Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 6:13:00 PM EST  

OK. I'm disappointed.

I thought you were going to talk about public health exercises for pandemic planning. Or pandemic planning in general.

THOSE are things I'm fascinated by.

Wal Mart? They're evil. Is there really anything else to say?

Eric Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 7:46:00 PM EST  

Okay, Michelle: if you haven't read John Barry's The Great Influneza, I highly recommend it.

Does that make up for anything?

Jeri Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 9:22:00 PM EST  

I like that the little dots look like little bomb blasts as they drop into place. :D

Random Michelle K Monday, January 12, 2009 at 9:10:00 AM EST  

I have that, although I didn't like it nnearly as well as Gina Kolata's "Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic" which is excellent, as she talks about not just the events in 1917, but also the research into what made the flu so virulent. She's an excellent writer.

I've also read The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett, which covered epidemics and pandemics in general, as well as the Great Flu.

In a similar vein, Ken Alibek's "Biohazard" is excellent, as is Germs Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller et al.

Pandemics were what original interested me in public health.

Jim Wright Monday, January 12, 2009 at 12:26:00 PM EST  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Wright Monday, January 12, 2009 at 12:37:00 PM EST  

Hurmf, no Alaska visualization - as usual.

The funny thing is, Wal-Mart is spreading exactly like a plague - wonder what happens when it chews through its host population? Maybe it will die and leave only us immunes?

Because, you know, that would be groovy. Just saying.

Eric Monday, January 12, 2009 at 1:13:00 PM EST  

Jim: foreign countries aren't included.


Kerbie,  Friday, January 23, 2009 at 3:39:00 PM EST  

Did you see the news that now Walmart has siphoned off as much as possible off America's economy, it's now migrating to Russia? Now that we're on life support it's planning on opening stores in the one place that still seems to be doing well:

Walmart is like a cancer, it spreads by latching on to previously-healthy hosts and then sucks it dry.

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