The Black Plague. The Black Death. The all-time global pandemic was so devastating, and so frightening, that hundred of years later, even the name still conjures fear and anxiety.
The bubonic plague is a metaphor for any global health horror. It is an idiom, a warning, it's a cautionary tale and the story of nature wrath, or God's. And, unfortunately, more important than all those other things, it's back.
And worse, it's here. Along with typhus, typhoid and more, because the city is covered in trash, rats, and feces.
This week, Dr. Drew Pinsky talked to Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham about the appalling conditions in the city of Los Angeles, where public health risks are myriad, deadly serious, and unbelievably, getting worse.
"We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now," said Dr Drew. He listed what he called the "three prongs" of the problem.
The first prong is "airborne disease," he said, pointing out that "tuberculosis is exploding."
The second prong is the one that brings the black death: "Rodent-borne."
"We're one of the only major cities in the country that doesn't have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down, we had a typhus last summer, we will have a typhus outbreak this summer," he explained. "I'm hearing from experts that bubonic plague is likely, it's already here. It'll get onto the rat fleas."
The third prong is "this oral-fecal" contamination, he said. "Which is typhoid fever, three cases. One confirmed, probably three."
"This is unbelievable. I can't believe I live in a city--this is not third-world, Laura. This is medieval." he said. "Third-world countries are insulted if they are accused of being like this. No city on earth tolerates this. The entire population is at risk."
Making matters worse, if you can believe it, the population in L.A. is what Dr. Drew delicately phrased as "sub-optimally immunized," and therefore at huge risk for additional diseases making their comeback, like measles.
"I just have this vision of myself on my knees in the gutter tending to people," he said. "This summer is likely to be a very profound problem."
And then to make maters even worse than worse, if you can believe that, the city and state will be taking in thousands of refugees, who they won't be able to handle with city services that are already failing the existing population.
"We can't handle our situation such as it is," he said. "And there's a very bizarre thing going on where the government is somehow somehow insisting that housing is the problem, when in fact we have chronic mental illness, we have addiction, we have people who don't want to leave the streets," Pinsky said. "They literally won't take the housing if we give it to them. And that's the population that's vulnerable, and is going to get so ill this summer. It scares me for their well-being."
"This is disgusting, it is reckless negligence," said Dr. Drew. "We have to have a solution to this."
(Video may take a second to load from Fox.)
At the Daily Wire, Joseph Curl points out that the contributing factors to this health crisis were not unknown in the city, or even elsewhere in that bluest of states. For example, with regard to feces:
The piles and piles of garbage, and the subsequent rat problem, have been a problem literally growing before the city's eyes for months.
In the Fox clip, Ingraham says this is not a political issue, but a public health crisis. But the question of whether political positions lead to this health crisis should be examined. And soon. Before a quarter of the world's population is wiped out, maybe?
It took 200 years for the earth's population to recover from the devastation of the black plague. Let's hope it doesn't take that long for Los Angeles officials to wake up.
Hey maybe if celebrities could take some time out from telling Georgia how to law, they could spare some time for the city that's home to their entire industry. You think?