Last week, one of the Local Guard Forces (LGF) was making his rounds when he happened across a small dead monkey on the grounds near my shop. I personally would have thought nothing of it after spending two years in Ethiopia, but here it is a different story.
This was on a weekend and within minutes, the Consulate was on lock-down. No one was allowed on compound unless they have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever. This was a shocker to me.
I went in to the Consulate the next day, Sunday, to do some work and yellow tape had cordoned off the area around my shop. Terese and I both were vaccinated before going to Ethiopia so it was not an issue for me. I was able to slip in around the building to get to my shop.
The next day, Monday, guards were positioned at the entrance to the Consulate allowing only those who had been vaccinated into the compound. The rest were directed to a vaccination post, where Bombeiros (Brazilian Fire Fighters) gave Yellow Fever vaccinations to those who did not have them. This was not a trivial matter. It was an active attempt to control a possible outbreak of a deadly disease.
This is Monday, a week later and the monkey still has not been determined to have died from Yellow Fever, but it is not an issue they will take lightly. Since I am in the Security Office, I saw the pictures of the monkey. It was only about 5-6 inches long, still very young, yet it sent a shock wave through the Consulate and the Brazilian Government. No small matter.
We often take for granted what we have and never realize how close we are to our demise. Many things in our lives can be our ruin, yet we are still able to walk the streets comfortably, thanks to Science and Technology.