I was thinking about this the other day. It appears that Ebola can be transmitted via contact with a carriers sweat. That to me sounds like, if the virus spreads into heavily populated areas, it could directly effect how people live their day to day lives.
Gyms. All the equipment is sweaty and people routinely wipe other people sweat off gear. Lots of sweaty towels laying around. Puddles of sweat. Seems to me like the fitness industry could take a significant blow if things escalate.
Mosh-pits/crowded hot concerts etc… Bunch of dudes with their shirts off bashing into each other. Sweaty folks pushing through crowds of other sweaty folks.
How do these activities survive in an Ebola-risk environment? They all seem like situations where one infected person could very plausibly spread the disease to many people. It’s true that unless you hide in your house all 24hrs a day you can never be assured you won’t catch something, but these activities seem like very high-risk activities that people could actively avoid in the even of a more widespread outbreak and directly reduce their risk of catching it.
What if scenario: Duncan, the guy who was caring for Ebola patients in Liberia and decided to bring it stateside, starts feeling a little bit under the weather, but not enough to stay home in bed. You know, like when you very first start feeling a cold/stomach bug coming on? He decides to try to go work it out at the gym, hits the treadmill, gets in some circuit training, sweat it out in the sauna etc… Later that night he hits the Linkin Park concert, does some moshing in his tank top or muscle shirt etc… Goes home and the next day shits bad.
This is an entirely plausible scenario to me. I’m not a doomsdayer but the idea disturbs me.
IMHO, the big issue you raise in independent of whether it is sweat or something else … right now the risk of massive spread is limited by the small window between when someone is significantly contagious and when they are so sick that they are out of commission. Right now it appears that by the time someone is significantly contagious they are highly unlikely to be going to a gym or to a concert. Generally the high contagious period is right about the time of death. Right now.
The fear is that it mutates to having a slower progression and a larger window of contagiosness while people stay still functional, even if such mutation also confers a smaller fatality rate.
Of course the other aspect of your op is that how people respond is not based on rational analysis of actual risks.
My personal global fear remains a Chinese national bringing it back there.
If Ebola escapes containment, whether or not it is spread in sweat, I’m sure that the economy will be strongly and negatively affected, starting with airlines and running through just about everything but e-commerce. I’m sure video-streaming would go up. Purchases of delivered packages- who knows? I’m sure attendance at gyms, concerts and sporting events would go down. I think church attendance may also be significantly affected (maybe up, maybe down).
Also, there will be much lost productivity, work & wages due to illness and quarantines, even for people dealing with colds/flu/diarrhea.
FWIW, I like gyms, but I do consider them to be minor plague-houses already. I can’t tell you how many times a recommitment to exercising in gyms has been cut short by yet another cold.
Non-judgmentally correcting a couple of points:
Duncan wasn’t caring for Ebola patients in Liberia. He tried to help a pregnant woman, who did die from Ebola, get to a hospital. It’s unlikely he knew at the time that she had Ebola.
He didn’t “decide” to bring it to the States, as he wasn’t sick when he boarded the airplane and in fact didn’t get sick until he had already been in Dallas for about five days.