I was going to turn this into another rant – I'm on a roll! – but decided to go for funpokery instead, i.e. let's apply a razor rather than necklacing, but can I use a blunt razor, please?
Please note that I'm not saying this has anything to do with the current dengue fever scare in Tokyo [x] [x]. The signs themselves remain coy and chastely mute. I would like to confirm, however, that it's the first time I've seen these signs during my shitamachi walks, and, as you well know, I resemble a certain Scotch whisky. See video below.
It's not quite as bad as the American media's panic about Ebola, but admittedly the latter is a slightly different
kettle of fish Petri dish of virological
taxons. Or taxa. Once a copy-editor, always a copy-editor.
This African – veteran observer and in some cases victim of malaria, AIDS, guns, South Africa's national sport, the Hôtel des Mille Collines, black mambas, matatus, minibus taxi drivers, Murtala Muhammed International Airport and assorted megalomaniac leaders – is observing the effect of both viruses and …
Interesting that there is no known plural for this word, which means poison or venom, in Classical Latin. It's always been a mass noun. Hence viruses, not viri, in English. Doncha love words?
Oh. Wait. I was kvetching.
This African is observing the effect of the viruses on Tokyo's population and the American media, and grimacing cynically. What can I say? I'm jaded.
Look, kids, it's like this. I was a journalist in Africa. My first beat was science, followed by education, (again) followed by science, eventually followed by politics. My students' predictable reaction when they hear I did political reporting: "Eeeh, hontō? Sugoi!" If I'd been a man, it would've elicited no response, the implication being OMG you’re a woman and you did politics?! Sweetikums, you'd be gobsmacked to know what I got up to on the Dark Continent, but let's return to the main story. I've been to more African countries than I can count on all fingers and toes. Throw in ears as well. I visited West Africa regularly. Especially Nigeria. So regularly that my visa-festooned passport threw customs at Narita Airport into a tizzy whenever I tried to enter Japan. Nigeria = drugs, virulent viruses and corruption. Open your suitcase.
I now have a new passport with only South African and Japanese stamps, and I'm waved through every time.
Tokyo, you need to chill. Exotic tropical diseases my foot. Heck, tell a South African that she's entering an area patrolled by vampire vultures and she'll stare at you blankly, yawn and say, "Ja? So?" I did get bitten yesterday morning. Meh. I always get bitten. If there's one mosquito in the surrounding 71 square kilometers, it will find me. Apparently my bitter and twisted soul is ensconced in a body bursting with sweet blood.
What I'm trying to say in my usual meandering way is that I've been around the block. You're going to have to do better than a mozzie in Yoyogi Park. Which, incidentally, is a few kilometers west of Ueno.
Ebola is wreaking havoc in West Africa, but does the USA have to prepare for the apocalypse? Dengue fever is unpleasant, but is its mortality more than 1%?
You're welcome to tell me I'm stupid, reckless and insensitive. I'm certainly all of that. However, do be careful with your mosquitoes. Treat them gently, feed them regularly, and don't scare them with your big bare feet.