I know it’s been awhile. After getting the book done and up on Smashwords, I needed a writing break. I caught up on housework, did some needlepoint, and watched girlie movies while the kids were at school and couldn’t ridicule me for actually acting like a girl. I didn’t have any bonbons, but it was damn close to magazine-family living.
It’s okay. I can wear a cardigan and do needlepoint from time to time. I spent last week fixing the house and pounding a new door skin on one of the cars, so I think I earned a little pink and lace. It’s a balance, people.
I didn’t spend much time on the computer this week, so this morning I fired up all the news sites to find out what I missed. I guess I only missed one thing: Ebola is really friggin’ hard to catch.
“Bethie! How can you say that? We’re in a crisis!”
NO. West Africa is in a crisis. We are just being held hostage by the media who sees dollar signs, and by politicians who see this virus as a stepping stone to a senate seat next month.
The ebola story has usurped any other story in the news all week. There’s a whole lot of freaking out, and not much understanding of fact. The news outlets are making bank off fear, and the reasonable voices are being intentionally drowned out by bold headlines of doom. I know I already talked about ebola. I was one of those telling Obama to send people over to help with the crisis. I stand by that, even though now many people are pointing fingers and saying, “See? YOU caused this massive outbreak!!” to the people on my side of the fence. I’m not changing my stance. We should have gone over.
And I’ll be the unpopular one that says it: We should STILL send more help.
Now that the bombshell has dropped, let’s really take a look at the situation.
Outside of West African nations, guess how many cases of ebola have been diagnosed?
I’ll write it out again so you know that’s not a typo. Seventeen. That’s it. That’s everyone outside the West African nations. Eight from the US, three from Spain, three from Germany, and one each from France, Britain, and Norway. Of those infected, four have died. That’s 4. Only 4. The rest have either recovered or are still in treatment.
Now, let’s look at who these people are. Fifteen of them are doctors, nurses, or clergy who were directly treating or counseling ebola patients in the isolation wards. The people getting the disease are the ones who are in direct and repeated close contact with a patient’s urine, feces, vomit, saliva, or blood. Not the people in the victims day to day lives. Not the people who casually passed the infected on the street. Not the 99.9% of people the victims saw before they became bed ridden.
No one has gotten ebola from walking past a sick person.
No one has gotten ebola from riding in the same plane as a sick person.
No one has gotten ebola from just living in the same city as a sick person.
You will NOT get ebola from going grocery shopping.
Your kids will NOT get ebola from going to school.
You will NOT get ebola from riding on a train.
You will NOT get ebola from going to work unless you happen to work in an ebola isolation ward.
Walk outside and take a deep, cleansing breath. Guess what didn’t happen? YOU DIDN’T CATCH EBOLA.
And you won’t. In spite of what the media is telling you, in spite of what the Tea Partiers want you to believe, there isn’t any way the US is dropping the ball here.
“But clearly Obama let ebola into the country.”
*sigh* Okay. We’ll go there, since that’s pretty much what every Average Joe on the comment boards of all the major news sites is saying.
First, “Obama let contaminated medical workers back into the nation.” Absolutely. They were our citizens who came home to be treated because their chances of survival in a US hospital vastly exceeded the odds of living through treatment in the average West African medical facility. If they had stayed overseas, they would have most likely died. Guess how many people became infected from those workers coming home to recover? None.
“Well he let that guy in…”
“That guy” who was asymptomatic at the time of his flight back to Dallas? Yeah. That guy was allowed in. Guess what? The rest of the plane full of people was also allowed in. Not a single one of them got sick, in spite of spending the entire cross Atlantic flight cooped up with the ebola victim.
“Fair enough, Bethie. But NOW, now we know…”
Know what? What we know is what I said earlier. Ebola is actually really fricken hard to catch.
Look, it’s not pretty, but here’s the truth: Ebola is a problem in the West African nations because they do not have the same standards of public sanitation as most of the world’s countries. They are called third world nations for a reason. I’m not saying anything at all derogatory about the people, or even the governments on the whole. They just don’t have the money needed to better their odds against nature.
Out of the seventeen non-West African people who have caught ebola, only four have died. That’s only 23%, when given care in what we would consider standard modern hospitals.
The WHO has come out and said they may have erred when they predicted that this outbreak would claim 50% of victims. Just this week they said their numbers are showing it may actually be as high as 80%…IN THE WEST AFRICAN NATIONS. NOT here. Not in Europe. Not in the countries that have the money and resources to treat the patients.
Now, lets go back to Obama for a moment. Forget all the numbers. Forget the fact that even in West Africa, ebola is FAR from the biggest health threat. Forget all of that, and just look at it from a logical standpoint.
Unleashing a virus on his own nation would make him one of the most diabolical despots in history. But, let’s say for the purposes of this discussion, he is a diabolical despot. What would he gain? He’s not running for an office. He’s on the way out, and by all accounts happy to be so. He wouldn’t get any money, no kickbacks from the drug company since no one has been able to come up with a vaccine yet, proprietary or otherwise. The only thing that seems to really help the ones in great distress is a blood transfusion from someone who beat ebola, and a drug company can hardly patent that. People in his own party are starting to distance themselves from him to become elected, so there’s no coattail riding happening. There is no benefit to him here whatsoever.
Besides, like him or hate him, he’s smart. Even if you don’t like how he uses it, you can’t argue with his intelligence. I’d like to think he’s smart enough to do a modicum of research, at least put a little effort into a world domination plan. If he was going to unleash a virus on the US, don’t you think he’d unleash one that’s easy to catch? Eight US citizens have caught ebola. 8 out of over 315 MILLION. That would make it the least effective diabolical plot ever.
Obama does not want people dying from ebola. He doesn’t want an outbreak. That’s just asinine. Even if he was a despot, it would be a stupid, pointless plan with absolutely no reward at the end. Even despots work for a purpose, a reward, a reason. People saying ebola is his fault are either just scared and lashing out, or buying the Tea Party line without having a single moment of logical reflection on the facts. Period. I’m not an Obama fan overall, but come on, folks. When you blame the president for a virus, you’re just being an idiot.
Okay, now that we’ve discounted the idea that Obama wants the US to be infected, and put ebola into perspective in terms of the US, let’s examine it in the scope of the world.
As of the time of writing this, the WHO says that 4,493 people have died from ebola, with all but 17 of those people being residents of West African nations. That’s a pretty serious number, and my intention is not to diminish the deaths of the victims. That’s just about the entire population of my town. I’m not saying that’s not a lot of people. However, let’s look at some other disease numbers.
Malaria kills an estimated 600,000 people. Complications from the rotavirus, a common ailment in young children, kill around 440,000. Dengue fever claims 22,000. Hell, 55,000 people die from rabies still. Rabies! And all these totals are the death counts for EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Why aren’t we freaking out about those numbers?
Because they are for somewhere else, that’s why. The millions of people dying from what we consider here to be archaic diseases are dying because of poor conditions and lack of health care infrastructures in the third world nations. The few Americans who do get these illnesses are treated in our hospitals and come out of it fairly well, on the whole. We don’t worry about those diseases because in the big picture, they are not a threat here.
And neither is ebola. Not yet.
In the West African nations, that 4,493 number is just going to go up and up exponentially. The aid workers over there are understaffed, overworked, and have few supplies. The US media making a mockery of the African struggle with ebola is causing the supply lines to close out of fear. People are starting to get the hoarding mentality, keeping the medicines, workers, and supplies over here “in case”. We can’t do that. Right now, we can stop ebola from actually becoming a global threat. It’s still so easily contained as long as people understand what’s really going on.
If we keep buying into the media hype, the global pandemic they’re predicting will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Right now we can help to nip the problem in the bud. But that’s not going to happen if people keep letting the money grubbing bozos cover up the facts and scare people into not helping.
Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Saturday, October 18, 2014. There. I hope that’s settled once and for all. Next issue that’s more hyperbole than fact…gay marriage. *cracks knuckles* Listen up, America…