Hard workers have nothing to fear from Ebola

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A guest post from TV and radio current affairs host Mike Hosking

So this virus they’re all talking about—what’s really going on?

I don’t know a lot about Ebola.

But then I’ve never needed to. I still don’t.

All the experts and pointy heads are saying the virus can kill, but aren’t these the same people who have been telling us for years that the Earth is warming and we’re all doomed?

I don’t listen to them.

I have never had Ebola. I don’t plan to catch it any time soon. I don’t need it, and it does nothing for me.

I don’t have plans to travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. Why would anyone go to these places?

If it’s tropical sun you want, you can’t really go wrong with Fiji, Rarotonga or Tahiti. Or why not stay on a resort on the idyllic and tranquil island of Aitutaki?

So why are we worrying about this?

Let me tell you a story about something I learned about infectious diseases a long time ago, when I was just starting out in commercial radio.

It was the early 1980s and times were a-changin’.

There was no time for global killer diseases in those days. The country was only just waking up to the exciting possibility of an international pandemic.

I never dreamed back in 1982 that something as exciting as Ebola could happen.

But in just a few years I witnessed a decade of Muldoonist protection being swept away by David Lange and his mates. Then Ruth Richardson came in and finished the job.

Those were wild times. It seemed for a while as if anything could happen.

Then we saw the AIDS epidemic come and go. Remember that? Whatever happened to AIDS? Is it still a thing in some circles? I wouldn’t know. It’s not my thing.

In more recent years we’ve had various bird and pig flu panics, each one billed as an apocalyptic plague doomed to kill us all.

But every time the human race has survived.

I guess the four horseman must be running late. Maybe they’re on an extended tea break.

Why haven’t we been wiped out yet? Let me tell you what I learned long ago, and what most successful people know.

Hard work will get you a long way.

People have been talking about diseases since before Moses first picked up a rugby ball.

This Ebola virus is nothing new.

Diseases kill some people. Other survive.

Sure, for some people the effects of illness can be profound.

Whenever they try to communicate.

Their sentences become.

Shorter and.


Other lose the ability to use personal pronouns.

No big loss. Not really bothered. Don’t need pronouns. Just don’t see the point. A complete waste of money.

Some people will catch the Ebola virus. I probably won’t.

But if I do, I won’t need a doctor to tell me what I already know.

If you work hard you’ll succeed. Sometimes it means pushing through when things are tough.

I may have a raging fever, my internal organs may begin to haemorrhage, and I may end up vomiting blood.

But if everyone decided to throw in the towel the moment things got hot, we would need a lot more towels.

Because all the towels would be in the middle of the ring.

We wouldn’t know which towels were clean and which were dirty, so we would have to wash them all.

Just in case.

That’s a heck of a lot of towels to wash. Lots of soap, lots of water.

If you think running out of towels is no big deal, you try having a shower without one.

What are you going to rub yourself up against when you get out of the shower and are dripping wet?

I’ll tell you what I won’t be rubbing myself up against any time soon.

A person with Ebola.

Wouldn’t want to, don’t see the need.

Doesn’t make sense.