October 18, 2014
Over the last couple of weeks, reading at doomer forums and the comment sections of some doomer blogs, I’ve seen some of the most irrational (and frankly, sometimes venal) conspiracy theories I’ve ever read. Come on, folks, get a grip.
So, are the elite/government/CDC/MIC trying to kill us all by “culling the herd” with Ebola? My answer – based solely on my having worked in both isolation units and surgery (which is sort of a reverse isolation where we are trying to keep the patient from getting infected by us) – would be, No. (Though in defense of those more conspiratorially minded than I am, the hubris and miscommunication about how ready we were shown by both the federal government – especially the CDC – and the Dallas hospital involved in our first minor outbreak here in the US certainly might have looked like it.) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/us/lax-us-guidelines-on-ebola-led-to-poor-hospital-training-experts-say.html?action=click&contentCollection=US%20Open®ion=Article&module=Promotron
The type of isolation training I had was for airborne and droplet born diseases such as TB (airborne) and influenza (droplet born) and sterile techniques for surgery (and in some cases, post-surgical care). Caring for an Ebola patient requires much more stringent training and isolation gear because of the ways it can be transmitted – especially to the caregivers. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/10/13/read-this-to-get-a-better-understanding-of-how-ebola-spreads/
Most hospitals here in America have staff and personnel that are well trained in isolation and reverse isolation techniques; very few are rigorously trained for handling something like Ebola, which is expensive and time consuming.
Fortunately, it is very difficult to spread in a general population like ours, where we generally don’t come in contact with or handle the bodily fluids of people who are in the contagious stage of the disease. Hopefully, that and the general humbling of the CDC and hospitals across the country will have given us the time and incentive to get our collective medical act together and prevent a wider outbreak. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/15/us/changes-to-ebola-protection-worn-by-us-hospital-workers.html
There are a couple of other steps that people are talking about regarding the government – one taken and one not taken, yet.
The one taken – the appointment of an ebola “czar” to communicate and coordinate – has raised hackles because the President made a “political” rather than a medical appointment. Some wonder why he didn’t appoint a military superstar like Colin Powell or David Petraeus.
Most medical people that I’ve heard speak out about it feel that what we need isn’t another doctor, we have one heading the CDC, but someone who can organize and coordinate the various federal, state and local efforts here -medical and legislative – and then communicate that to the public.
As for the debate over a political organizer or a military superstar, well, I can’t help looking at the record of our military successes, lately, and the record of a guy who helped run two successful national political campaigns as far as expertise in communicating and coordinating – not to mention the difficulty of having to get something through our cantankerous Congress. It’s sort of a tossup, isn’t it? Just saying …
As to the step not yet taken – banning all flights from those West African countries where the Ebola epidemic is not contained – I tend to agree that it’s not a good idea. Psychologically, if I were trapped in one of those countries by such a ban, and I had the finances to travel, I’d steady be looking for another way out – car, bus, train, donkey cart, whatever – to another country and an air flight from there. And the worse the epidemic gets, the more people who are likely to be looking for such back-door ways to get somewhere else in order to come here.
Right now, countries where the epidemic is on going are checking people boarding flights out of those countries. And we are checking people from those countries when they get off of flights into the US, now, and keeping contact information on them and fellow travelers. The government was late in starting that, and it’s not a perfect system (as the case of Mr. Duncan shows,) but I’m not sure forcing a situation where people actively circumvent that system in numbers that could potentially overwhelm the medical systems in this country is any better.
Honestly, I think WHO is right. The best thing we could do to ensure our own safety, instead of obsessing over a handful of cases here or in Europe, is for the developed nations to work at stopping the epidemic over there. And the governments here and in the other developed countries have done a woefully inadequate job of that.
While we’ve been bitching and moaning over the President sending 3,000 troops to build hospitals, deliver supplies and train field workers – troops who will not be in contact with patients – Cuba, that tiny island of 11million people to our south that we love to hate, is sending almost 500 doctors and medical workers directly into combat in the affected countries. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/12/cuba-leads-fights-against-ebola-africa
We and the other countries of the developed world spent trillions of dollars bailing out TBTF banks, trillions fighting an everlasting war on terrorism, yet we gripe about a billion to stop what could turn out to be a much greater threat.
If you still think the elites are deliberately trying to cull the population via Ebola, go ahead on I guess. Maybe there’s enough information in the articles I’ve listed to help you get the right hazmats and handsoap to protect yourselves. Personally, I think you’d be better served buying a little extra hand sanitizer and, maybe, some face masks for the upcoming flu season and sending the rest to Doctors Without Borders, Samaritan’s Purse or any of the dozens of other non-profits that are over there in the nitty-gritty fighting the good fight without much help. After all, to misquote George Bush, isn’t it better to fight it over there, so we won’t have to fight it over here?
Besides, the elites/government/CDC/MIC can’t really afford to kill us right now. We’re part of those Great American Consumers whose urge to shop ’til we drop makes up 70% of the economy. So, why would they want to kill us now?