Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

I would like to recommend Isaac Asimov’s new book, Oy Vey. In it the earth is struck by a galactic event. Suddenly people are unemployed. One in three of those of working age has no job, and for those who have just left school, it is down to one in two not working.

Nearly half of children are stunted in growth because of malnutrition. There is little water and pictures show people pushing wheelbarrows with plastic bottles of water.

The dams are at a very low level and rivers polluted. In the city, people are asked not to shower and buy water in bottles. Electricity supply is threatened and people have solar or hot water panels on their roofs.

Then crime is rocketing. A woman is raped every minute and even young children are raped and murdered.

Armed gangs hold up cash in transit vans. Copper cables are stolen from sites supplying essential services. Junior politicians are gunned down. Senior politicians use convoys of helicopters, or bullet-proof cars, to get around.

There is a surge in the incidence of disease. High levels of obesity lead to diabetes.

There are high rates of HIV and treatment-resistant TB. Clinics run out of medicines and qualified doctors fail to find employment.

The leaders plan to meet at Nasrec to consider the situation and there is hope for help from Alpha Centauri. I never got further than that in the book.

John WeinkoveCraighall

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