Ebola Coming to Europe Next
Even as I write, a ship is steaming directly to Amsterdam from the hot zone of the worst Ebola epidemic of all time. It's an ordinary cargo ship, and in a week or two, its crew will be downing beers and visiting the local talent of one of Europe's biggest port cities. The worst part is, it's not the only one.
A flotilla of cargo ships leave from Europe each month to visit a variety of West African ports. The last of these ports, terrifyingly, are in each of the Ebola-stricken countries. As if it were perfectly intentional, these ships return straight away to Hamburg or Amsterdam for more cargo.
This is not just a recipe, but the recipe for disaster.
Almost nothing could be more efficient in spreading the disease than a fleet of express steamers running from the hot zone into Europe's largest ports, starting with Hamburg and Amsterdam before going on to Tilbury, Antwerp and Bilbao.
For instance, the Grande Atlantico returns to Amsterdam from Freetown, Sierra Leone on October 10th. It leaves today.
The Grande Africa returns to Hamburg from Monrovia, Liberia on October 7th.
Likewise for the Grande Francis, the Grande Sierra Leone, Grande Nigeria, and Grande Brasile. Each ship has an almost identical trip planned for the following months as well, and each of these ships make their final stop in the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic before returning to the major port cities in Europe two weeks later.
Each of these ships has a crew of approximately twenty people, meaning over 100 Ebola candidates a month are stopping in the largest port cities in Europe, one after the other. All this, fourteen days after potentially being exposed to the disease, when people are, naturally, most contagious.
It is spectacularly careless that this trade route continues, since an epidemic amongst merchant seamen starting in Hamburg would all but ensure the disease would be scattered to the wind and land in practically every country in the world.