Epidemic Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 44 quotes )
It was a cruel world though. More than half of all children died before they could reach maturity, thanks to chronic epidemics and malnutrition. People dropped like flies from polio and tuberculosis and smallpox and measles. There probably weren't many people who lived past forty. Women bore so many children, they became toothless old hags by the time they were in their thirties. People often had to resort to violence to survive. Tiny children were forced to do such heavy labor that their bones became deformed, and little girls were forced to become prostitutes on a daily basis. Little boys too, I suspect. Most people led minimal lives in worlds that had nothing to do with richness of perception or spirit. City streets were full of cripples and beggars and criminals. Only a small fraction of the population could gaze at the moon with deep feeling or enjoy a Shakespeare play or listen to the beautiful music of Dowland.
She died."I had to prompt him."Soon after?"In the early hours of February the nineteenth, 1916." I tried to see the expression on his face, but it was too dark. "There was a typhoid epidemic. She was working in a hospital."Poor girl."All past. All under the sea."You make it seem present."I do not wish to make you sad."The scent of lilac."Old man's sentiment. Forgive me."There was a silence between us. He was staring into the night. The bat flitted so low that I saw its silhouette for a brief moment against the Milky Way."Is this why you never married?"The dead live."The blackness of the trees. I listened for footsteps, but none came. A suspension."How do they live?"And yet again he let the silence come, as if the silence would answer my questions better than he could himself; but just when I had decided he would not answer, he spoke."By love.
Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. Twenty percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer. When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.
The mob hysteria over pedophiles has reached epidemic proportions and driven parents to panic. Today's Just Williams, today's Huck Finns, today's Swallows and Amazons are deprived of the freedom to roam that was one of the delights of childhood in earlier times (when the actual, as opposed to the perceived, risk of molestation was probably no less).
In those years before mobile phones, email and Skype, travelers depended on the rudimentary communications system known as the postcard. Other methods--the long-distance phone call, the telegram--were marked "For Emergency Use Only." So my parents waved me off into the unknown, and their news bulletins about me would have been restricted to "Yes, he's arrived safely,"and "Last time we heard he was in Oregon," and "We expect him back in a few weeks." I'm not saying this was necessarily better, let alone more character-forming; just that in my case it probably helped not to have my parents a button's touch away, spilling out anxieties and long-range weather forecasts, warning me against floods, epidemics and psychos who preyed on backpackers.
The pre-history of our species is hag-ridden with episodes of nightmarish ignorance and calamity, for which religion used to identify, not just the wrong explanation but the wrong culprit. Human sacrifices were made preeminently in times of epidemics, useless prayers were uttered, bogus "miracles" attested to, and scapegoats--such as Jews or witches--hunted down and burned.
Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.
We can either continue to collectively stand on the sidelines and debate what is causing autism and if it is an epidemic or we can get on the field and start addressing the real problem - a generation of children with autism. We are not focusing enough on prevention, treatments and support services.