Livin' on the MDedge

James Bond taken down by an epidemiologist


No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die

Movie watching usually requires a certain suspension of disbelief, and it’s safe to say James Bond movies require this more than most. Between the impossible gadgets and ludicrous doomsday plans, very few have ever stopped to consider the health risks of the James Bond universe.

Illustration of James Bond pointing a gun Tumisu/Pixabay

Now, however, Bond, James Bond, has met his most formidable opponent: Wouter Graumans, a graduate student in epidemiology from the Netherlands. During a foray to Burkina Faso to study infectious diseases, Mr. Graumans came down with a case of food poisoning, which led him to wonder how 007 is able to trot across this big world of ours without contracting so much as a sinus infection.

Because Mr. Graumans is a man of science and conviction, mere speculation wasn’t enough. He and a group of coauthors wrote an entire paper on the health risks of the James Bond universe.

Doing so required watching over 3,000 minutes of numerous movies and analyzing Bond’s 86 total trips to 46 different countries based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice for travel to those countries. Time which, the authors state in the abstract, “could easily have been spent on more pressing societal issues or forms of relaxation that are more acceptable in academic circles.”

Naturally, Mr. Bond’s line of work entails exposure to unpleasant things, such as poison, dehydration, heatstroke, and dangerous wildlife (everything from ticks to crocodiles), though oddly enough he never succumbs to any of it. He’s also curiously immune to hangovers, despite rarely drinking anything nonalcoholic. There are also less obvious risks: For one, 007 rarely washes his hands. During one movie, he handles raw chicken to lure away a pack of crocodiles but fails to wash his hands afterward, leaving him at risk for multiple food-borne illnesses.

Of course, we must address the elephant in the bedroom: Mr. Bond’s numerous, er, encounters with women. One would imagine the biggest risk to those women would be from the various STDs that likely course through Bond’s body, but of the 27% who died shortly after … encountering … him, all involved violence, with disease playing no obvious role. Who knows, maybe he’s clean? Stranger things have happened.

The timing of this article may seem a bit suspicious. Was it a PR stunt by the studio? Rest assured, the authors addressed this, noting that they received no funding for the study, and that, “given the futility of its academic value, this is deemed entirely appropriate by all authors.” We love when a punchline writes itself.

How to see Atlanta on $688.35 a day

The world is always changing, so we have to change with it. This week, LOTME becomes a travel guide, and our first stop is the Big A, the Big Peach, Dogwood City, Empire City of the South, Wakanda.

There’s lots to do in Atlanta: Celebrate a World Series win, visit the College Football Hall of Fame or the World of Coca Cola, or take the Stranger Things/Upside Down film locations tour. Serious adventurers, however, get out of the city and go to Emory Decatur Hospital in – you guessed it – Decatur (unofficial motto: “Everything is Greater in Decatur”).

Emergency department ©Getty Images

Find the emergency room and ask for Taylor Davis, who will be your personal guide. She’ll show you how to check in at the desk, sit in the waiting room for 7 hours, and then leave without seeing any medical personnel or receiving any sort of attention whatsoever. All the things she did when she went there in July for a head injury.

Ms. Davis told Fox5 Atlanta: “I didn’t get my vitals taken, nobody called my name. I wasn’t seen at all.”

But wait! There’s more! By booking your trip through LOTMEgo* and using the code “Decatur,” you’ll get the Taylor Davis special, which includes a bill/cover charge for $688.35 from the hospital. An Emory Healthcare patient financial services employee told Ms. Davis that “you get charged before you are seen. Not for being seen.”

If all this has you ready to hop in your car (really?), then check out LOTMEgo* on Twittbook and InstaTok. You’ll also find trick-or-treating tips and discounts on haunted hospital tours.

*Does not actually exist


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