Is it my imagination?
Scads of folk are howling about ebola these days, natch. The howlers, generally, seem to think we’re not doing enough to protect ourselves from the scourge.
Ourselves being the citizens of this holy land.
In fact, I recall a number of interwebs yowls wherein the complainants were aghast that we should let that missionary doctor who’d contracted the disease back into the country.
Dr. Kent Brantly, Ebola Survivor
[The Guardian photo]
A country, I might add, that is pretty much alone among the world’s nations in having the facilities, the technology, and the dough to handle victims of ebola. Where the yowlers wanted the poor doctor to go was never explained.
Now I understand a lot of Dallas parents are keeping their kids home from school lest their snowflakes become infected. This despite health officials’ repeated assurances that there is no danger their kids’ll catch ebola.
Dallas is where the nation’s first diagnosed ebola case was discovered. A newly-arrived Liberian was diagnosed with it within the last week. It’s said the Liberian came into contact with up to 18 people between the time of his arrival here (September 20th) and his isolation. Any Dallas school kids he might have come in contact with have been removed from school and are being monitored.
The Centers for Disease Control and every other reputable medical and epidemiological expert tell us ebola can only be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s sweat, urine, feces, saliva, or other bodily fluids. In other words, you have to come into fairly intimate contact with an ebola patient before the disease grabs you.
Still, prudence is the best course and ebola can kill you almost as quickly as a self-appointed, self-aggrandizing neighborhood watch stalker with a gun, so those stricken with the virus must be isolated.
We’ve also learned that an ebola patient is only contagious when s/he is exhibiting symptoms. That’s why the number of people the Liberian has been in contact with is sketchy. It’s not known to the minute when he became symptomatic and when he had contact with each of the individuals.
All that said, people wanting to keep their kids home from school is over the top.
Rather like the reaction when, say, Ryan White wanted to keep going to school even after he was diagnosed with AIDS.
Another disease, I might add, that is only contagious via bodily fluids, specifically blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal and rectal fluids.
No one can forget how panicky so many were over AIDS. Panic being the key word.
Note the qualifier, “hysterical or irrational behavior.”
I don’t recall much panic over, say, a few strains of seasonal flu that were particularly virulent in recent years. The flu, acc’d’g to the CDC, kills anywhere from 3000 to 49,000 people each year, depending on the strain. Forty-nine thousand people! Man, only 33,561 people were killed in automobile accidents in 2012, the last year for which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released data. And we bay like coyotes about traffic safety and passenger protection.
Not As Bad As The Flu
The flu, on an annual basis, is more deadly than car crashes.
People don’t keep their kids home from school during flu season, though. Nor, for that matter, do they do so because their kids must be transported to school via motor vehicles.
Yet a number of Dallas parents are keeping their kids home for fear of ebola. Panicky fear.
Is it because ebola thus far is known as a disease of the other? Just as AIDS once was? The other could be Africans or simply dark people in general or it could be homosexuals.
Flu can kill you. Riding in a car can kill you. No one’s panicking over the flu or riding in a car. What makes ebola and AIDS different? Their association with the other?
Or is this all in my imagination. Nah.
Other Voices, Other Screeches
You thought I was red-assed over the NFL’s recent domestic violence scandals and subsequent cover-ups? You’d better get over to Tom Phelps’ new blog, Random Musings from an Implacable Optimist.
Not only is Phelps, of Ellettsville, teed off, he’s got some solutions for the NFL to consider if it’d like to get itself back in the good graces of civilized society (a desire on the league’s part I tend to doubt exists.)
In any case, TP’s new screech outlet looks promising. Really promising. I’m going to read it daily — or however often he will post — and I recommend you do too.
Only after you’ve read my screeches.