As terrified as the political left would like us to be of possibly contracting the now-infamous COVID-19 virus, there are far, far worse diseases one could be infected with. You know, things like typhoid fever, rabies, or the bubonic plague. After all, study after study shows that you are about 99 percent likely to recover from COVID-19, with or without treatment.
Getting the bubonic plague and not receiving treatment, on the other hand, is certain death.
And in California, more precisely in the northern Lake Tahoe area of the state, contracting the Black Death as it was once called is actually possible.
Yes, you read that right. The bubonic plague, of all things, is loose in California.
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Now, to be clear, so far, it has only been reported in small wild rodents such as a few chipmunks near Lake Tahoe. Apparently, the animals were tested on Friday, and the results were positive for bubonic plague, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
So far, the wild creatures have had no known contact with humans, making an epidemic or even a single human case unlikely at this point. Nevertheless, park rangers have shut down the area, including Lake Tahoe’s south shore and Kiva Beach, where “vector control treatments” will be completed as a precautionary measure.
According to El Dorado County spokeswoman Carla Hass, all is under control, and the area will be reopened to the public soon.
However, it is important to note that this is not the first time the plague has been reported in the area. In fact, it seems rather common among the wilds here. For example, between 2016 and 2019, about 20 rodents were found to have exposure to the disease. And in August of 2020, a man was diagnosed with it after going out for a hike and likely being bitten by an infected flea, according to ABC News.
It was the first human case in the state in five years.
When the case was officially reported, Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams made a statement, reminding citizens to “take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking or camping in areas where wild rodents are present.” As she continued, “Human cases are extremely rare but can be very serious.”
Indeed, it can be. Over 200 million people are estimated to have died worldwide in the 1300s due to this plague.
However, in our modern era, the likelihood of not only catching it but also dying from it is nearly impossible, thanks to modern medicine. If caught early enough and treated with simple antibiotics, recovery is more than likely. The last known death from bubonic plague occurred in 2015, according to NBC News.
Early and common symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, and painful, swollen lymph nodes.
But as unlikely as an epidemic of bubonic plague may be, some are concerned that it might not be confined to remote wilderness areas like Lake Tahoe.
Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke to KOMO-TV and pointed out that since it is being spread through rodents and fleas, there is a high likelihood that it has already made its way to the busy streets of cities like Los Angeles where rat overpopulation is rampant and homelessness is everywhere.
He said in 2019, “We’ve allowed millions and millions of rats to overpopulate. I predicted the typhus outbreak last summer. It’s going to be worse this summer and it’s just a matter of time before plague gets onto those fleas and into our population. It’s just inevitable.”
Though like I said before, once infected, the disease is very treatable.
Still, it’s something to take note of. And certainly, something that should put anyone worried about COVID to shame. I mean, who cares about the flu when the bubonic plague is on the loose?