Hypothetical dissease situation

I used to write short stories when I was a kid and i’ve been fascinated with medical and pharmaceutical things as long as I can remember. One of these stories was called The Plague and it was about a global pandemic of a fictional disease called Swamp Rot with 100% mortality rate and more contagious than influenza. In fact this pathogen was so deadly and virulent that there was not even a single survivor until over 55,000,000 people had died. It started out with an intense fever of 106 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, severe body aches, nausea, and vomiting. Followed by multiple organ involvement with massive bodywide hemmorhage. Then, it goes even beyond ebola into depths unseen in anything. While the person is still alive, everything, flesh, bone, muscle begin to melt and discintigrate until the person is nothing more than a pile of meat, bone splinters, and bodily fluids. This is, of course, fatal. The whole progression of the illness from start of first symptoms to death is only 36 to 48 hours. Not only that its fatal to animals and plants as well. So, what if this really happened? If you were faced with this exact situation, what would you do?

Sounds like it would burn out of a population almost immediately.

The fictional disease was caused by a bacillus with microscopic “flotillas” which allowed it to ride the thermals in a way similar to birds which allowed it to travel at high speed thus I think isolating a population would be out the window.

Forgive a respectful interruption by the resident grammar/spelling Nazi, who usually lies in quiet seclusion unless provoked. But in the case of a potentially aspiring writer, it may be well to point out that writing non-words like “dissease”, “hemmorhage”, and “discintigrate” suggest the advisability of the prospective author keeping his day job, at least for the time being.



First of all I’ve always been an exceptional speller myself who must have made what is known as a couple of typos. I have a 150 IQ and had a grandfather who could do trigonometry and calculus in his head. He had a 190 IQ and was a WWIi vet and not only an electric engineer but an engineering professor at one time. Also he was a millionaire. When I was 5 he taught me to spell antidisestablishmentarianism. Also, my mom taught herself to read as a toddler with the tv guide. Not a single individual in my family has an IQ under 150. Also, I was able to walk at six months. So unless you possess some supernatural form of intelligence you have no boasting rights though I do not wish to argue.

Wolfpup was generous, and did not point out some punctuation errors and redundancies, or the fact the Ebola virus is capitalized. Also, I don’t know where you live, but in the US, the IQ tests used in schools don’t give measurements above either 140 or 150, depending on which one you use. High IQs are extrapolations, and not reliable since the tests aren’t meant to measure achievement above the mean anyway, so I’m not impressed.

I could probably out-boast you, but I don’t wish to, because I think it’s a little silly. Wolfpup made a little joke, and you could have laughed with him and driven one, but instead you got all butt-hurt over someone very rightly pointing out the humor in your typos in a post about writing.

If you are that sensitive, use spell-check next time.


ETA: join date of March 2016. Of course.

edited to add: No disservice to all those who served in WWIi.

I agree with what you’ve stated RivkahChava. I know IQ tests aren’t accurate . In fact, I don’t believe they’re accurate period. I think there are more important things to worry about than intellect and how well you can spell anyhow. Not to mention I was in a hurry because I knew it was going to be a long post and im typing from a ps4 controller. I apologize to wolfpup, I’m generally kind but I was in a bad mood earlier. When your mom might die cause she has sepsis and your sister keeps calling to argue with you from a mental hospital even a minor criticism can anger you. Sorry for lashing out.

Every time I see newbies posting like this, I try to remind myself of Autolycus, who had such a rocky start and ended up loved by many before his untimely death. So, mikeritchie30, just a piece of advice from someone who’s been here a while. Lurk before you post, proofread before you hit enter, and ask yourself if you really, really, want that post out in the universe for as long as the internet exists.


What makes me laugh is you’re all making a big deal out of typos but missing the entire point of the topic. All writers have editors. I was upset earlier. Normally I would have let it go and been humble about it.

In answer to the question posed in the OP-I would most likely wake up. You’ve got the same disease effecting humans, all animals and plants equally, then you vaguely ask " If you were faced with this exact situation, what would you do?" If there was no way to avoid this disease? If we already had this disease? Either way, there’s not much to say-fucked is fucked.

I’m letting this go. I think there are all kinds of things one could do. Would you flee with your family to a remote island and tough it out? Or how about put some research into a cure or treatment ? Etc.

Go to an island? Not according to you:

Put in some research for a cure or treatment? For a brand new disease that swiftly kills humans, animals and plants alike? EVEN if a cure were possible to be had before all life died out(and I’m not sure you understand what you put into motion when you said that it also kills animals and plants-we are talking a devastation that might not be fixable), this “cure” would have to work for all humans, all animals and all plants, and chemistry just don’t do that.

Yes, but our primary concern is humanity. So what I’d do is work on a cure for people first. I’d then look into research into analogues of this drug that might work for different species of animals while I had another team look into what might save plant life.

If you work on one first, you lose.

Sounds like only two things are possible.

  1. You take the world’s greatest scientists and isolate them in a supersecret, negative-pressure, quarantined laboratory that just happened to already exist to work on a cure.

  2. The disease mutates into a less deadly form.

For more details, you might want to ask Michael Crichton, author of The Andromeda Strain.

Wouldn’t it be more fun if it wasn’t fatal? Then you could have the nightmare scenario of heaps of fractured body parts lurching around the streets making damp squelching noises.

Sounds more like fire ants, which survive floods by joining together in living rafts (or flotillas, if you will) which, when they fetch up against a person, exhibit their gratitude by stinging en masse, which is why I have fond memories of southeast Texas.

Or read The Stand which employs a subtler plot than the OP’s but is still plenty scary.

Yer friend,

Captain Trips

I liked your response Jackmanni. You’re a funny guy.

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I am wondering how you’d accomplish this great humanitarian effort while the clock is ticking away your 24 to 36 hours and your body is turning into a pool of red slime.