did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Zika

1

The images of the kids affected by the virus are heartbreaking.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
2

Also the first person who tries to tell me that this is all Rachel Carson's fault for warning of the dangers of DDT gets a free punch in the snout.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
3

Asking women to delay pregnancy is an even more particularly scary detail in a country like Honduras where abortion is so illegal that women have been jailed for miscarrying naturally.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
4

The sickness itself isn't super bad though, right?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
5

4: No, it isn't, and it looks like a lot of similar diseases so testing for it is hard.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
6

4 is what I had heard originally (that as an adult the sickness was pretty mild, basically background radiation) but the possible linkage to a higher risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome makes it a good bit scarier.

I've also heard, somewhat secondhand, that a Zika vaccine should be relatively plug-and-chug, rather than being a unbounded-duration research effort, because it's similar enough to some other things that vaccines exist for. Of course testing and production take time.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
7

My grandmother had G-B, maybe 20 years ago. She had the Miller variant. That is one weird disease.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
8

So freaky and terrifying. The son of a friend of mine has microcephaly due to a genetic abnormality; damn. Yeah, "don't get pregnant" -- not a great public policy solution....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
9

Delayed pregnancy is going to mess up demographics for decades to come. Primary schools are going to have to do some staff jugging starting in a few years. There's going to always be a class in school that's smaller than what came before, perhaps followed by classes that are bigger.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
10

I'm interested to see what position the pope takes. This is a really brutal test for theology.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
11

9

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. An extreme baby bust is going to do screwy things to bureaucracy and demography.

Also, is the plan that women don't get pregnant for two years, by which point there's a vaccine? It doesn't seem like mosquito-borne diseases in tropical areas are easily eradicated.

Also, the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympics = giant clusterfuck. The disease will spread all over the world.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
12

If you get this thing, are you likely to have children with microcephaly forever, or only while you're symptomatic?

11.2 seems to nail it. It looks like a panic reaction, because they can't think of anything else to do.

The pope is probably fucked, as far as his reform programme goes. Either he stays hardline on contraception and abortion, in which case his wider constituency will go and do something else, or he makes concessions, in which case he gives the hardliners an opening they're unlikely to ignore.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
13

It doesn't seem like mosquito-borne diseases in tropical areas are easily eradicated.

Aggressive mosquito control programs go a long way. In 2014, Trinidad and Tobago had an effective mosquito control program and was moderately affected by the Chikungunya virus. Jamaica didn't and got massacred.

A lot depends on the capacity of a national health system to collect and analyze data on the location of outbreaks, and direct spraying operations accordingly. That's a lot more difficult to do in countries that still have large areas of un-wired hinterland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
14

9: There was a miniature version of that in 1966 in Japan. Girls born in the Year of the Fiery Horse are supposed to be dangerously headstrong and hence unmarriageable, so the birthrate that year went right down, the abortion rate went up, and even neonatal mortality among girl babies (within 28 days of birth) increased significantly. (Now, of course, the Japanese birthrate is well below the bottom of that blip.)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
15

Also, the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympics = giant clusterfuck. The disease will spread all over the world.

That ship has already sailed, I'm afraid: the WHO is expecting it to spread over the rest of the Americas anyway. And it'll only really spread in the tropics because it needs Aedes mosquitos - even if lots of people catch it in Rio and then go home to, say, Russia or Canada, there aren't any Aedes there so they won't be able to pass it on to anyone else, any more than they can pass on dengue or malaria.

But you can, presumably, only catch it once. If you catch it then you get a bit sniffly for a few days and recover, and then you're perfectly OK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
16

Except that it's possibly sexually transmissible for an undetermined amount of time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
17

gives the hardliners an
opening they're unlikely to ignore.

What can they do though? Infallibility means they just have to shut up, right? Or is anyone ready for actual schism? I'm woefully ignorant on catholicism.
Good luck to Francis - it's such a vicious dilemma, like a thought experiment come to life.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
18

Infallibility isn't automatic -- the Pope isn't always infallible, just under certain circumstances that I'm not precisely clear on. But most of the time he's just the guy in charge of the hierarchy, and no more infallible than any cardinal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
19

But you can, presumably, only catch it once. If you catch it then you get a bit sniffly for a few days and recover, and then you're perfectly OK.

Sounds like it should be relatively easy to make a vaccine for, then, as per 6.2.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
20

12: You need an active infection for it to be a problem, but not much beyond that is known. Some speculation that contracting it in the first trimester is the problem.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
21

15. And it'll only really spread in the tropics because it needs Aedes mosquitos

There's another kind of mosquito (A. albopictus) that it can live in. I believe a lot of the US, hardly "the tropics" is in the range of one or the other. A map in The Economist showed the range as "seasonally" as far north as Boston.

2. I think Glenn Reynolds (or one of his co-bloggers) stepped up on that immediately.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
22

16: ah. OK, that makes it rather more worrying if that's the case (though CDC says there's only one case of possible spread). Still, though, with the symptoms lasting only a few days, that won't exactly spread through the population very quickly by that means. R is going to be well below one for an STD with a six-day contagion period. And once you've recovered, virus is presumably gone.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
23

21, on the other hand, is rather more worrying.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
24

Good luck to Francis - it's such a vicious dilemma, like a thought experiment come to life.

It's not really very novel, is it? There are huge numbers of women who doctors tell that they shouldn't get pregnant for either their own health or because of high risks of birth defects. It's just another data point in a very long, drawn-out dispute. A dispute, it's worth noting, that is ignored by close to everybody for whom it's a live issue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
25

14

How often is the year of the fiery horse? That only happens when the elements line up with the zodiac, right?

In rural China, kids (especially girls) born in the year of the sheep are thought to be particularly unlucky, so people avoid trying to have kids in that year. Apparently it's enough of a factor it does throw things off balance. Conversely, dragon and pig are lucky years, so the birthrate increases noticeably in those years, which can also mess things up.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
26

25: Yes, once every 60 years. The birth rate went up very slightly in Japan in 2000 because it was a Golden Dragon year, which is lucky. I don't know what the corresponding figures look like in China, though.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
27

Not novel, no. But the scale and intensity is something else: many millions of births to be averted, as a matter of public policy, in the face of horrifying birth defects, in the most Catholic region in the world. DADT can't really cover this.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
28

The scale seems still smaller than with condoms and AIDS back in the day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
29

18 - If I read wikipedia correctly, a pronouncement is infallible whenever a pope and/or ecumenical council says it is. So using that power is more a question of practical politics than technicalities.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
30

28: Yes, but a rabid traditionalist might argue that a good Catholic married couple who aren't adulterous are at minimal risk of catching AIDs; only those who are already sexual sinners would want to use condoms for that purpose. That doesn't apply when the vector is a mosquito.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
31

Slutty, slutty mosquitoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
32

27 I still haven't figured out how Don't Ask, Don't Tell fits in with Zika virus and ex cathedra pronouncements.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
33

"Don't ask about contraception use, Don't tell that you've decided to become homosexual to avoid the issue."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
34

Good point. OTOH AIDS has confounding issues wrt promiscuity and homosexuality. A mosquito borne infection makes it very hard to blame the victims.
Also, untreatable microcephaly is worse than HIV+ kids who used to die slowly and can now live normally with chronic medication. Because of that IMO zika collides much more directly with RC abortion doctrine.
And last, LatAm and spreading fast, vs Africa and spreading slowly.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
35

34 to 28.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
36

32 - Responding to Moby

A dispute, it's
worth noting, that is ignored by close to
everybody for whom it's a live issue.
The occasional RC woman getting an abortion on medical advice or using contraception can be covered by DADT; worst-case zika fallout couldn't be ignored like that.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
37

I like how you formatted that like a haiku or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
38

29: And it's basically never used. The two cases everyone agrees on are the Immaculate Conception* and Assumption of Mary, and only one of those was after the First Vatican Council. That Wikipedia page lists a few other earlier cases that are arguable, and they're also all for theological issues. It would be very non-traditional to use it for something more practical, but then again, Jesuit Pope, so all bets are off.

* not to be confused with the Virgin Birth; this is about Mary, not Jesus, being conceived without sin.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
39

But, it's not like "the occassional RC woman" using contraception. It's like 95%. It's been like that for decades. Brazil may be different from the U.S. in that regard, but I sort of doubt it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
40

Like a sculptor of stone
I reveal the poetry
Of my fellow commenters.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
41

38.1 - Well, yes. The pope cannot routinely use his power lest he lose legitimacy, so he has to pick his battles. Supposing he's that way inclined at all.
39 - True. But abortion is (I guess) less common. And with contraception, worst case is massive slump in births for 2 years, as a result of public health policy - hard to pass over in silence.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
42

I don't think a massive slump in births is that likely, but I don't see how it would be easier to notice that the births per woman dropping by 50% over a few decades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
43

That's a sentence that is not very unconfusing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
44

I'm going to Haiti next week, and then New York. Maybe I'll be Patient Zero for the USA.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
45

Agreed it's unlikely, but it would happen over years not decades, surrounded by massive hullabaloo.
All this is driven by my wishful thinking, really. Francis seems generally to be putting humaneness before doctrine and maybe he could use this to make a big jump forward.
But probably it'll just be contained.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
46

this is about Mary, not Jesus

The Catholic-Protestant schism, in ten words or less!


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 01-27-16 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
47

Zika now detected in more than 20 countries.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-28-16 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
48

My guess is that neither governments nor clergy will have much effect on the reproductive choices of poor women in poor countries and what we'll actually see is a rise in neonatal mortality which is the polite way of saying infanticide


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01-28-16 3:27 PM
horizontal rule
49

I wouldn't be surprised by a massive slump in birth rate. The pictures of the babies are very clearly not-right and I believe that problems that have a visible component get addressed.

I could be biased because (in other forums) I am in a community of people who go to a hell of a lot of trouble to not-have babies that won't be born developmentally normal. People get real serious about that decision when they're faced with it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-28-16 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
50

As I understand it, though, microcephaly is not easily detectable in the womb, certainly not with the technology available to poor people in poor countries. By the time it's unambiguous it's too late to have a safe abortion. So we're back to infanticide when the child turns out wrong.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01-29-16 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
51

Welp, I've arrived in Haiti. Its about what you would expect. Shambolic buildings, gutters full of trash, open-air markets featuring second-hand shoes. A guy was selling roosters on the sidewalk.

And I'm staying at an opulent-ass hotel.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
52

Did they give you trouble about bringing in the rooster?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
53

They haven't found out about the rooster yet.

Wow, this place is swank. They claim to have the best burgers in Haiti!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
54

But I ordered the goat dish that had 3 chili peppers next to it. What could go wrong?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
55

54

Just remember it hurts coming out as much if not more than it hurts going in. Also, if my developing world experience translates, the modern plumbing is mainly for decoration.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
56

Nah, its a well known international hotel brand. They probably have the best toilets in the country. Top 1%, anyway.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
57

This isn't so spicy. I think they made a White Person Adjustment.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
58

Cancel that. I just ate the coleslaw. Sweating through my eyeballs.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
59

Do they have McDonald's in Haiti? Absent swanky-ass hotels, the best toilet in any given square mile is likely to be in a McDonald's.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 5:31 PM
horizontal rule
60

Before I studied abroad in Chile, I read some adjusting-to-life-in-Chile book, which advised strongly against ever trying to flush toilet paper down the toilet. Absolutely no one does so, and you will be a big foolish toilet-clogging American if you don't put your soiled TP in the trash like all the Chileans do.

One week into my stay, I had an awkward conversation with my host mother, where she basically asked if there was some reason I kept putting my shitty TP in the bathroom trash can. She had a big laugh when I explained the "cultural practice" I learned from a book.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
61

For the record, the toilets at this place are even better than American toilets - separate buttons for flushing #1 and #2!

I don't know about McDonalds, but I can see a Dominoes. That's the only fast food chain I've seen. Most of the rest of the Caribbean is chock full of KFC, but I have not seen one here.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 5:45 PM
horizontal rule
62

Who needs KFC when you can just buy roosters on the sidewalk?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
63

I was going to use a condom, and then I thought, when am I going back to Haiti?


Posted by: Opinionated Bad Idea Jeans | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
64

separate buttons for flushing #1 and #2!

Corresponding to different sections of the restaurant menu, no doubt.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
65

Did you know there is a heated debate over which island in the Caribbean has the best KFC?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
66

I did not know that, no.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
67

61.1: That's not uncommon in American hotels.

65: Barbados has Chefette, a fried chicken and roti chain. Given that, I dunno why you would ever want KFC.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
68

61.1 I have that in my apartment here in Arrakis.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
69

Without a rooster, it isn't impressive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
70

Inside of a rooster, its too dark to see.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
71

Does anyone else get a Knockin' on Heaven's Door earworm whenever that meme is deployed?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:36 PM
horizontal rule
72

Yes. It had just hit me, in fact.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
73

Nope. I don't even get it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
74

71: Well now I do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
75

Does anyone else keep reading the title of this post as "zizka" and thinks it has something to do with Emerson?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 8:59 PM
horizontal rule
76

74 seconded. Also, does it count as a meme if its use is largely confined to one eclectic webmagazine? I, like others here have mentioned, must restrain myself from mentioning Europe's enlightened and topless nature in other contexts. Incidentally, it doesn't seem to be either anymore.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
77

In China you put the toilet paper in a waste basket next to the toilet. If it's really country, the toilet paper is this pink fibrous stuff that feels like a cross between tree bark and sand paper. It's gotten better in most big cities, but there's a range of "fancy" Chinese hotels built in the 80s/90s, and the toilets look really nice but are useless if you have to do anything more than pee. They do have separate #1 and #2 buttons.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 11:17 PM
horizontal rule
78

What, you didn't bring your own toilet paper with you everywhere?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-16 11:58 PM
horizontal rule
79

It's January. in January we're all about enlightenment


Posted by: Opinionated enlightened Europe | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 3:09 AM
horizontal rule
80

||
NMM To Terry Wogan
|>


Posted by: Opinionated c. P. Scott | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 3:11 AM
horizontal rule
81

77 et al.

In Costa Rica it's the trash can (and they're proud of it, and insistent!), ditto in Haiti. My recollection is that in China it was "flush it" but maybe I'm forgetting or was One of Those Americans. (Hotel toilet paper in most places we were visiting in China wasn't nearly as bad as "tree bark and sandpaper." It was pretty normal but in ludicrously small rolls.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
82

Same length as in the U.S., but 1.5 inches wide.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
83

This has me particularly on-edge because we're trying to conceive. My wife is 40, so we can't exactly wait this out, and due to her age and my funny-looking swimmers we have an uphill battle as it is.


Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
84

82 to 83.last


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
85

83: It's probably not very reassuring, but the high caseload in Brazil may not hold up to scrutiny. There is no current data that quantitates the actual risk. If I were guessing blindly, I'd bet your wife's risk of (a) contracting Zika early in pregnancy and (b) having a child with developmental delays are extremely low, probably lower than many other complications affecting infant health. Go ahead and fuck like bunnies! It won't be mosquito season here for quite a while and isn't endemic yet. Plus, I assume mosquito control this year will be high on public health officials priority lists.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
86

You think doing it in yard is safer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
87

Depends on the weather. Mosquitos don't survive well in the cold.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
88

Maybe people too? All the senior citizens in Tucson looked much healthier than the old people here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
89

I dunno, the old people in Alaska tend to look pretty healthy to me. Granted, there aren't many of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
90

Selection bias. Have you checked the ice floes for a more representative sample?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
91

I generally try to avoid them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
92

Why do you like biased samples?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
93

Convenience.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
94

That's about the perfect comeback.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
95

Thanks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-16 7:11 PM
horizontal rule