Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ebola is Serious Business

I've been warily watching the ebola situation in Western Africa without saying a whole lot because I kind of took for granted that people would either take it very seriously or panic, which strikes me as just about the right level of interest.

Now, you know me, I am not about to holler "Oh my god! ISIS militants are schlepping ebola across the Mexican border to infect our precious bodily fluids!"

On the other hand, what a bad, uncontrolled outbreak of ebola in urban centers where it has more opportunity to spread can do as far as social breakdown goes, and the potential for the virus to mutate to a more communicable stage, are reasonable concerns. This is a disease with a high fatality likelihood and even more so when victims of it have no access to reliable care--there isn't a cure, but if it is beatable, nutrition, hydration, cleanliness and caring all help. If cases overwhelm the health system where an outbreak is occurring, then, survival rates would be far less.

It's just common sense--you don't have to be an expert in epidemiology to understand that containment, quarantines, hospital treatment, and sterile protocols would go a long way to making sure this situation doesn't devolve into a nightmare.

Unless politics comes into it, in which case, maybe people just lose their damn sense.

There are great reasons to send military personnel to a hot zone. We've already seen a potential nightmare where a clinic was overwhelmed by looters because there is such distrust of government in this area, that the existence of ebola seems like a hoax. Just today, a team of health workers were found with their throats slit in a village where they were trying to educate about the seriousness of this disease.

Where there is a fear of mortality and mistrust of government, rioting is a distinct likelihood. Where there are workers, such as farmers and vendors and truckers, who are removed from the workforce by death or disability, there is vital work that is not being done. There is the potential for famine, breakdown of hygienic infrastructure such as reliable water systems, and unrest. This disease will spread among the poorest most viciously, but it will affect everyone regionally. And the less contained--the better the likelihood of a greater area being infected.

Attacking President Obama for taking this threat seriously is...seriously stupid. And I mean seriously.  Here's just a shot of stupid from Laura Ingraham:

Laura Ingraham Mocks Obama-Ebola Plan With Game Show Music. On her radio program, Ingraham played game show music while playing the game "name that enemy" about whether Obama is more serious about tackling Ebola or ISIS. Ingraham later said "I'm just getting very confused about the nature of this enemy. Is it those scary little worms that Drudge always has on the Drudge Report? The scary little Ebola worms? Is that the real threat to national security?" Ingraham then said if Ebola was a really serious threat, we should lock down the border.
"Scary little worms"? Okay--on one hand I'm gratified that people see headlines on Drudge and don't even click, even if they are Laura Ingraham, and I realize that filoviruses are ropy and wormlike at a high magnification so her phrasing isn't as stone cold stupid as it might seem--still, that she knows so little or has bothered to educate herself so little is appalling. Ebola has killed a couple thousand, and under the right conditions, could kill tens of thousands. But Obama, who means to do something about it, must be wrong.

Unlike ISIS, it is true that ebola has no ideology and can't be bombed. But it is serious business, and should be treated seriously, not like some partisan hackysack to be kicked about.

1 comment:

Yastreblyansky said...

When I heard that horrible story about the massacred health team in Guinea on the radio this morning I couldn't help thinking how the killers were conservatives in our current sense, terrified of government and mortally ignorant, acting out the way Alex Jones or Sarah Palin talk. Guess I can add Ingraham to that list.