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NPR: Ebola Might Make Chocolate Expensive (While Killing Lots Of People)

Yeesh. Lotta scary Ebola news these days. Between the situation in Africa seemingly spiraling beyond anyone's control, a botched containment job at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and exposed people breaking quarantine to go strolling around New Jersey, presumably barfing Ebola blood on school bus door handles, there's lots to be stressed about, terrifying-African-hemorrhagic-fever-pandemic-wise.

In times of anxiety, it's important to get comfort where you can. In the little things, you know? And there's no simpler, more readily available comfort than a humble bar of good ol' reliable-ass chocolate. Stroll on down to your local convenience store or bodega or gas station and pick up a nice tasty hunk of all that's still OK in the world.


Oh. What's that you say? Chocolate bars might be a few cents more expensive in some places, possibly because of fears that the Ebola outbreak will impact the cocoa harvest in West Africa? God damn you to hell, Ebola, not the chocolate, too!!!!!!!

That's right, folks: NPR says Ebola's a-comin' for your chocolate. You see, most of the world's cocoa comes from Ghana and Ivory Coast, which, while still Ebola-free, sit adjacent to raging Ebola hot-spots Guinea and Liberia. This means: Closed borders for those countries; less immigrant labor from Guinea and Liberia to harvest cocoa this year; and, as a result, cocoa fruits withering unpicked, rather than being transformed into tasty treats.

"Should I stock up on 200 chocolate bars just in case?" an actual reporter asked the actual head of an actual African bank.

"Yes," responded that second person, which I surmise must be local slang for "what in the damn hell is wrong with you, for chrissakes the World Health Organization predicts that Ebola soon will be infecting more than 10,000 new people each week, which—at its current 70-percent mortality rate—means that it poses a real and immediate threat to millions of Africans and the security and sovereignty of entire nations, and you are asking me whether you ought to bulk-buy fucking Mr. Goodbars or whatever, I mean what kind of a damn sociopath even asks a thing like that, are you trying to flaunt your geographic and socioeconomic and epidemiological distance from this fucking horror or what."


Listen. Stock up on candy bars or do not stock up on candy bars. You are free to make that choice for yourself. This just seems like a good moment to consider that, maybe, just maybe, "Damn, this rampaging, terrifyingly virulent epidemic sure is making it hard for Africans to maintain my easy access to cheap chocolate" isn't the most enlightened of all perspectives to have on the whole Ebola thing? Like, probably you are not going to hop in your Batman helicopter thing and fly to Liberia to cure Ebola—but surely you can attach your feelings about the whole thing to something more humane than Ohmigod but can the Africans still harvest cocoa fruits???????

Even expressed as concern for the economic future of Ghana and Ivory Coast, this is still pretty ghoulish: When the family down the street is trapped inside their burning house, maybe you can't just run down there and put the fire out ... but on the other hand, maybe you also wouldn't think to call a press conference to speculate on whether their next door neighbor will have trouble squeezing past the fire trucks to get to his big work meeting on time. You know?


Besides, as the bank dude was sure to point out, chocolate "doesn't keep that well. So I don't know [about stocking up while it's still cheap]. Unless you're planning to eat 200 chocolate bars in a couple of months."



Photo via Shutterstock.

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