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Dying Is Easy, Surviving Is Hard

Who's seen cult science-fiction series Survivors, in which 99.9% of the world's population is killed in a global pandemic accidentally released from a laboratory and rapidly spread across the globe by prolific air travel?

It's unrelentingly bleak - pretty much everyone dies, either in the initial holocaust, or later on from starvation, at the hands of other survivors (probably after being raped or tortured), or from the rapid proliferation of diseases we thought had been wiped out, like typhoid et cetera. Oh, and then there's the legions of rats and packs of wild dogs running rampant in the cities...

One of the reasons for Survivors success was that the picture it painted was grimly realistic. Now the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning in its annual report that just such a scenario is possible, precisely because of the heavy use of air travel. It warns that an epidemic in any part of the world is just a few hours away from threatening somewhere else.

The report says, "It would be extremely naive and complacent to assume that there will not be another disease like AIDS, Ebola, or Sars sooner or later."

So stock up on the bottled water and canned food - if Survivors is anything to go by, dying might be the easy option.

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