Since January, I’ve been speaking quite a bit on the Zika virus. Most of the time, I’ve been calming fears, keeping the public informed, and making sure the situation didn’t go completely out of control as it did with Ebola, or as I called it…

fearbolaFEARBOLA!

But a few months ago, someone, somewhere started a rather unbelievable form of fear. A letter was written to the World Health Organization demanding postponement of the Olympic Games in Rio. You can read it here: https://rioolympicslater.org. It was signed by 240 people warning the world of an impeding pandemic if the event was allowed to progress.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to reassure people there was no risk. Countless hours of both on air and behind the scenes work was done in the hopes of keeping this obvious attempt at hype from causing another outbreak of fear.

Well, the Olympics have come and gone and enough time has passed to allow for the virus’ incubation period. The result: nothing…or for my Brazilian friends: nada. Not a single case was found.

How could 240 people get it so wrong? I could go on and on but…the most obvious answer is quite short…so much so I could fir the entire story into say…14 lines.

So without further ado…let me present to you…


zika-olympicsRio Olympics Later (A Cautionary Tale)

“Stop the Olympic Games!” they cried;
“Lest a vicious pandemic shall ensue!”
Two hundred and forty they numbered, mouths all open wide;
Demanding this unprecedented coup.

There was something in the logic that just didn’t jive
‘Twas an omission in the facts they employed;
Rio would be too cold  – see here –  for mosquitoes to thrive;
The prognosticated pandemic would be nothing but an empty void.

The Games went ahead based on evidence, not qualms;
Nary an infection – nor mosquito – was seen.
The 240 must now rue deeply their attempts at aplomb;
And try to redeem their now tarnished sheen.

This story offers a lesson to those wishing to avoid all this pain;
Make sure to use “Google Scholar” before trying to raise viral fears again.


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