The non-specific super-fungi Deadlius Diseasus is spreading throughout the world. Actually, this disease is badly named: it doesn't kill anybody - it just infects them, then after a period of ~1 week, starts causing euphoria. In a big way. So much so that anybody infected with the disease is utterly demotivated to do anything other than laze around all day, because nothing can bring them greater happiness than they are currently experiencing.

The disease is airborne. It transmits itself through microscopic and therefore invisible spores which are released from any and all bodily orifices in infected humans.

The UN has met and decided that this disease, once it has infected enough people, will cause the end of the human race because people are too apathetic to work and therefore food cannot be gathered.

However, the average person has no massive problem with the existence of this disease, because it has no bad effects (apart from massive laziness).

How can they stop the spread of this disease when most people are not motivated to stop themselves becoming infected?

Extra detail

The disease cannot live anywhere except for on humans, but the spores can lie dormant on objects for an extended period. People who are infected are so apathetic, they do nothing at all, even at risk to their own health.


closed as off-topic by sphennings, L.Dutch, Amadeus, Josh King, Mołot Jul 30 '17 at 18:59

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    $\begingroup$ Average person will have problems with this disease because he knows someone needs to work to bring food on his table. People are not that stupid. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jul 30 '17 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ This is not about world building. Also, microscopic fungal spores are immensely visible and have been for 400 years through a simple microscope, we have two in our home office! As plentiful as you say the spores are; they would be captured almost instantly by very simple air filtration of an infected individual in a sterile bubble, placed there by CDC personnel in impermeable bunny suits. It isn't likely such a person will be trying to escape, right? Then genetically sequenced and studied and defeated, relatively quickly. Relatively simple filters and protections work for fungal spores. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Jul 30 '17 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ The World health Organisation (WHO) would coordinate global medical and biological research facilities to combat the organism. WHO did this with the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003. Once something like this has been done, it's easy to do it again for any novel disease with a major impact. @Amadeus suggested the CDC, but that is one of many similar organizations. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 31 '17 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android right, forgot about WHO; and I am sure with some research we would find a few dozen CDC type orgs in other nations that would quickly coordinate, through WHO and political channels. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Jul 31 '17 at 9:35

This disease is analogous to being addicted to crack cocaine or other psychoactive drugs; such addictions leave people bankrupt and caring about nothing but another fix, no matter what the cost to their health, their family, their friends, and the people they love. I know, I have had such addicts in my extended family.

The drug will be fought, and the battle against it willingly funded, because before people are infected they do not want to be infected, and do not want their kids, siblings, parents or friends to be infected, because they see it in the same way we see severe addiction.

The OP seems to assume people are sociopaths that care about nobody but themselves. This is utterly false, the vast majority of people (in excess of 85%) actually do care about the welfare of strangers, and in excess of 97% care at least about the welfare of their own offspring.

The entire premise of the question is misguided, non-infected people will very obviously demand this plague be stopped, and fast, no matter what the cost. Terminal laziness destroys the dreams that parents have for their children and grandchildren, it would destroy lifelong friendships and marriages. Nearly everybody has people they love, this disease would destroy some of those people, and the un-infected would react with grief, horror, and anger at their governments for not protecting them from such losses. Trillions would be spent in research and eradication.

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    $\begingroup$ Molokai would open back up, but this time as a euphoria sanitarium not a leper colony. Other pacific islands would be pressed into service as necessary. Until the infected were squirreled away people would use air filters. It occurs to me that these sanitarium islands would be wonderful places for people with terminal suffering - people with incurable cancers and the like. They could go to the island, be infected, and live out their days in bliss. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 30 '17 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Premise is wrong, that's right, but I don't see how are you answering the question here. People would fight to stop it, true, but how? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jul 30 '17 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot as suggested, the same way they fight any other disease; the CDC would get involved, quarantines would be set, travel would be restricted, etc. No invention or creativity is required here, just watch the news on Ebola or the Bird Flu, watch the documentaries on battling Aids. That is why the premise is wrong; it will be treated like any other airborne infectious disease and pandemic. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Jul 30 '17 at 19:11

So the effect of this fungi is similar to 'Maim. It is said that, 'when you kill an enemy soldier, you reduce their number by 1. When you maim a soldier, you reduce their number by 10'.

Lazy people does not produce, but they consume.

More data is required: (please updated the question so others can help you out)

  • survivability of fungi outside the host.
  • does the infected trying to infect the healthy on purpose ?

I propose some solution:
Step 1: stop the infection from spreading

  • airborne transmission => biohazard suit (or just a mask cover) would prevent healthy people from getting the fungi. It will work as long as the infected cooperate (or at least, not attack the health). As long as the number of new infected does not increase, then first step is successed. Better if:

    • the infected cooperate with the healthy.
    • the weaker spore survivability outside the host, the better
  • Kill the infected: " to save humanity, we must give up humanity". Suitable if you want to make dystopia (communism for example). Better if:

    • the infected and their friend, family cooperate with the healthy. (propaganda, ya, kill the heretic or you are the heretic)
    • the weaker spore survivability outside the host, the better (the plague can be stop after few decade or less)

Step 2: prevent the plague from breaking out again

  • Vaccinate: After step 1, prevent the spread of infection is complete, scientist can work on vaccinate, or "the cure", whatever you like.

Somebody has to work to provide food and drink for the "infected".

Infections usually are not evenly spread on the whole world. It is highly likely that, as soon as the infection has reached a sizeable amount of people, there will be zones where system collapses, "sane" people fly away (helping spread) and infected die. This should be enough to convince people being infected is not a good idea.

Actually stopping infection spread is another thing, of course, but awareness will be there well before global collapse.

In order to contain and later eradicate the fungus, after conscience of danger is established, strategy depend on specific details. Assuming it's a "normal" fungus spores will be very little, perhaps microscopic, but nonetheless sizeable and generally filterable quite easily (a simple dust mask should suffice).

Further steps are strongly dependent on physiology of the fungus and disease; a few scenarios:

  • it is possible to find a vaccine: this is the best scenario; eradication is possible in a few decades.
  • fungus can live only on a human host: then containment and quarantine is in order. The amount of time these people can be maintained and cared for by community is strictly dependent on number and resources; I suspect a few will be cared for till natural death, a large number will be contained and left to die and if things go real bad they will be burnt on sight.
  • a specific toxic for the fungus is found: use wide range disinfestation even if moderately toxic.
  • neither of the above is true: here we get in trouble and specifics are needed to find a workable strategy.

Note there will always be a certain fraction of population preferring intoxication to hard work.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a good comment but does not actually answer the question. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jul 30 '17 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot: Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I'll update the answer. $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Jul 30 '17 at 13:22

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