Saturday, January 11, 2014

Communicable Diseases (link to video added)

There are many ways to die.  If one uses all of human existence as a basis, then death by a communicable disease is the most likely way to go.  Even in times of war, most fatalities are due to diseases that run rampant in times of chaos...driven by poor sanitation, bad water, bad food and overcrowding.

Flu map

My belief is that "emotion" is our native operating system.  "Rational thought" is an alien system that takes root in the native system.  Rational thought can do some things that "emotion mind" cannot.  But "Emotion Mind" is the motivating force.  Others have likened the partnership between thought and emotion as being similar to a bicycle.  The rational thought is like the front wheel.  It can steer and guide but it is the emotion mind that provides the thrust that makes it all happen.

Having children that I want to survive into ripe adulthood, I looked for a way to explain how epidemics work.  I wanted a way that was vivid and fairly accurate.  I wanted a method that tied the front and the rear wheel together.

This is what I came up with.  Total cost was about $10.  I bought 3 boxes of wooden matches, a small container of Play-doh and cut up a pop can (ten cent deposit).

Two kids competing to see how many "survivors" they can arrange into a "city".
The cities are pop bottle caps.  The red material is Play-doh.  I get to play "God" and light one match...Patient #1.

Iterations were run.  The concepts of isolation and immunization (natural: pre-burned matches -or- vaccinated: matches that had been spritzed with window cleaner) were presented. These guys really got into the spirit of the simulation.

Third iteration

These simulations were run outside.  I placed the cities on the railing of the porch and touched off Patient #1.  In simulation three I got some help from a stray breeze.  That provided a learning moment for how the hand of Mother Nature can change the course of events.

The second iteration had no survivors.  The names of the two cities are Joe-Burg and X-Tron.  Don't ask me why.  The kids picked the names.

The third iteration (FB) incorporated firebreaks, a form of isolation.

The forth iteration (FB + VAC) incorporated firebreaks + vaccinations. 

The fifth iteration (FB + Metal dividers + VAC + Creating more space) of Joe-burg was video taped by the kids.  Video is approximately 3 minutes long

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