Thursday, June 04, 2015


Pandemic disease is a very real threat to modern societies. Yes, a large proportion of mankind may suddenly die. But initial survivors will struggle with poor social foundations, little faith and poorly developed purpose.

Disruption and doubt are poisons. Yet increased authoritarianism brings more suspicion of government.  As I've noted before (link), our communities are increasingly fragmented - people silo themselves in fortified homes, scared of their neighbors and distrustful of authority.

It's essential to build good community foundations now - in times of relative prosperity and freedom.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a growing public health threat around the world. There's now a persistent outbreak in South Korea, where 30 have contracted the illness and two have died (as of today). More than 1300 people are just now forcibly isolated or quarantined by the South Korean government.

More information is unavailable.

What Korean cities, and what neighborhoods, are affected? (link) It's secret.

Korea is concerned about their reputation & global image. Everywhere hopes to avoid bad publicity and a drop in tourism. But surely there comes a point where openness & transparency is essential - where lack of information increases danger.

There's conjecture (link) the Korean outbreak is a new strain or mutation of the deadly MERS coronavirus which is much more easily transmitted. Secrecy stemming from concerns over economic impact hampers research.

Is the growing epidemic in Korea a new pathogen? If so, it could be labeled
  Komers  KOrean Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Those who remember the Swine Flu (H1N1 influenza A) epidemic of 2009 may recall Israel and Korea labeling the illness "Mexican Flu" ... an unwelcome slur on Mexico! Will Korea now suffer similar mistrust?

Some reported problems (link) with identification and control of this MERS-CoV pathogen stem from biological piracy accusations. Early Saudi samples shared with a Dutch university lab lacked a comprehensive "Materials Transfer Agreement" -- the Dutchies patented the genetic sequence and promptly contracted further work to antiviral and vaccine corporations.