Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola Scare...

I don't usually write about things that irritate me on my blog, but this time I'm going to make an exception.  Let's talk a little bit about Ebola.  I'm sure you're tired of talking about it, but I'm tired of hearing both extremes on this topic, so I have to get something off of my chest.

First of all, I hate the media.  The media is blowing the cases that have happened in the US out of proportion.  They're making it sound as though the virus is airborne (it's not), and are trying to make people panic.  One thing about the US is that we're very good at making a crisis out of something that isn't one yet.  We tend to pretend the world is ending because deep down, people like a crisis.  I know that sounds weird, but it's true.  Here's the problem, Ebola isn't a crisis HERE yet, so we need to stop making it into one.  The political cartoons are true that the flu kills thousands of people a year and we don't worry over it, so worrying over five cases of Ebola is ridiculous.  We can't shut down our lives because we might be unlucky enough to get exposed to something that, as far as we know, only five people have in the US.  We need to pay more attention to common viruses and health problems that are dangerous before we start freaking out over something that we probably will never be exposed to in our entire lives.

HOWEVER, I am also tired of hearing the opposite extreme.  There are political cartoons and lots of people ranting and saying that Ebola isn't something we need to worry about at all.  That is just as ignorant and wrong as those that try to make this into a crisis.  This virus has killed thousands of people in Africa.  Granted, part of the problem in Africa is there are people who don't believe that it is a virus and have distributed blankets of the infected to healthy people.  Also, the established governments of some of the areas there aren't organized, etc.  But, out of respect for the thousands of people dying there, I really think those political cartoons are tasteless.  "Tacky" is a good word for it.  Don't make light of a virus that's killing thousands of people in a horrible way just because it hasn't happened here yet.  It's a nasty virus that should be respected.  And, even if only five people have Ebola in the US, I'd imagine that to them it's definitely something to worry about.  Apathy over something horrible like this is just as bad as trying to incite panic.

I think the reason that we are so fascinated and terrified over this virus is because it is truly horrific.  When the full symptoms set in, within hours the victim bleeds from every orifice and their organs practically liquefy.  You could die tasting every organ in your body.  Think about how horrible that would be and tell me, do you really want to die that way?  Does anyone?  That's why people are freaking out.  The flu usually kills the very young and very old, or those with compromised immune systems.  If you get Ebola there's around a 70% chance you won't survive.  Please, please, have respect and stop saying it isn't a big deal.

I want to have faith that the CDC and our government will keep track of those exposed to the virus and keep the situation under control.  I have noticed, though, that many hospitals are not prepared and some of the things that happened could've been handled in a better way.  What I don't understand it is why there isn't a travel ban to and from the most affected areas.  Most US citizens that are in Liberia exposed to that virus don't want to bring it back and infect their loved ones if they do have it.  Those that want to administer aid to those areas could be an exception.  Most of the cases, so far, that have made it to the US have been people coming directly from Liberia.  But, I have to assume there's a reason that there hasn't been a travel ban yet, but it seems the first logical step.

I do, however, have plenty of nurses who are friends.  I have faith in them and believe that with the help of highly trained nurses, we will get this thing under control somehow.  Time will tell, but in the meantime, the best advice I can give is don't buy into the media propaganda and don't panic.  Still, don't hide your head in the sand and pretend it isn't a problem either.  Be vigilant, watch the news, stay away from sickly people, and use your common sense.  And, get your damn flu shot.

And, that's my 2 cents.        

Weddings and Walt Disney World

Hello Again,

Wow, two blogs in one day.  I'm going to go for three, but let's talk a little about weddings and Walt Disney World.

First of all, I got to attend my friend Bob's wedding recently.  Since this is personal to him, I won't spent too much time talking about it.  It was a nice ceremony up in North Carolina.  My husband was the best man and it actually brought together a lot of old friends that we hadn't seen in a long time as well.  Bob is also our roomate, so now he has recently moved out.  He seems very happy and I'm happy for him.  He and Lynn are a nice couple.

A week after the wedding, Joel and I, along with our daughter, my sister and her boyfriend, and my Mom and Step-dad went to Disney World.  It was Eva's first trip to Disney, and I wasn't sure how she was going to do, but she did great.  She was wide-eyed on all the rides she could go on (she is only one and a half years old...), and she adapted well to seeing so many people.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  It's good to see that she's open to new experiences now.  For a little while, she was going through a fear of strangers phase that I thought would  never end.  Even though she's still antsy about people coming over to the house, it seems she's more accepting of people in a public setting.  Thank goodness.

We stayed at the "Art of Animation" resort.  The rooms were very small, but we made good use of the space.  The decorations were awesome.  Our suite was done in a "Finding Nemo" theme.  The entire resort was comprised of three different sections, Cars, Finding Nemo, and the Lion King.  The main lobby was decorated in storyboard art for Disney Movies.  I felt right at home.  I love Disney World and Disney movies.

There's not much to say about Disney World that hasn't already been said.  It is still the happiest place on earth.  I had the best trip this time that I've ever had there.  We got on almost all of the rides that we wanted to, and also somehow budgeted our time well enough that there weren't many long lines.  It also really helped that we went on weekdays in October.  If you want to go to Disney World, I highly recommend going in October because it's off season.  We also got to go to two different restaurants that we had always wanted to try (the Crystal Palace and the VERY nice Hibachi restaurant in "Japan").  And, for once, I went on every thrill ride in each park.  I decided that I wanted to go with Eva and Joel on thrill rides in the future, and I need to learn to be brave for my child (Though, some roller coasters I still can't do.  Being brave has nothing to do with motion sickness...).  Eva had the best time ever.  I have so many good memories of her experiencing the park for the first time.  My Mom also got to spend a lot of time with Eva when we occasionally split up the group, which was nice for her too.  

The best part of all was that John proposed to Holly (my sister).  It was very sweet.  He gave her a rose and a bracelet at the "Crystal Palace" with a note that said to make a special wish at Cinderella's wishing well.  Then, when we got to the wishing well, he proposed.  I'm very happy for them and very excited about the upcoming wedding.

Anyway, it was a great trip, but we brought something back that we didn't intend...a very nasty cold.  Eva had it first, then gave it to me, and then I accidentally gave it to Joel.  So, the past week, we've been mostly sleeping and trying to recuperate.  I haven't written anything in over two weeks, and it's driving me crazy.  I'm hoping now that I have time again to change that.  Anyway, I figured it would probably happen.  There were just too many people there for us to be lucky enough not to catch anything.  All things considered, a nasty cold is better than the flu, so I'm at least grateful for that.

Dragoncon Shenanigans...

Hey Everyone,

Sorry that I've been pretty inactive on the blog lately.  This  has been a really busy time for me.  I went to Dragoncon, my friend's wedding, and Disneyworld.  (I also just recently recovered from a nasty cold.)  So, needless to say, I've had an eventful couple of months, but I'm going to try to catch up on the blog.

Let's start with Dragoncon.  What I remember most about it was that it was more crowded than it has ever been before.  I attribute that mostly to the fact that Patrick Stewart was there.  Before you ask, no I didn't go to that panel or get to have his autograph.  He was untouchable.  We waited in line for his panel and then were told the place was filled up after we waited for thirty minutes in a line that stretched around the building.  There were other actors there, but mostly the same ones who come every year.  I think that we've decided that the next time someone like Patrick Stewart is there, we're just not going to go.  There were so many people there, that there were actually lines to get into vendors.  Most of the panels were hard to get into unless you lined up two hours early.

I did, however, get into two very helpful writing panels and got to see and talk to Todd McCaffrey again.  One was about Young Adult Fantasy and the other was about World Building in Young Adult Literature.  I learned quite a bit that I intend to incorporate into my own writing, and I have a few books that I'll probably be buying to read in the near future by the authors participating in the panel.  So, I felt Dragoncon was worth my time, but I hope they handle the crowds better next time we go.

Also, one last note on Dragoncon.  It is well known that Dragoncon is a party con, but I was very disappointed in the behavior of certain people there.  At around 8:00pm, things get kind of crazy and people start dressing in very little clothing, etc.  This is just a well known fact about the con.  I don't have a problem with that, because after eight most small children are not present.  However, at two in the afternoon, you don't expect people dressed as scantily clad "My Little Ponies" to start posing in suggestive ways for pictures in the most populated areas.  It was a train wreck, one of those things where you really want to look away, but you just can't do it.  They also probably were about eighteen, so not even old to drink, though they were clearly drinking as well.

I realize now that being a parent has changed me.  Normally, I don't care about that sort of thing, not anymore, but I was downright offended by the whole display because it was done in front of children dressed as characters in a children's show.  The parents of the children present were trying to steer them away, but the thing was taking place in the middle of the hotel thoroughfare.  Unfortunately, there was no one really moderating the con, so they probably did this for about an hour.  People with "daddy issues" are kind of sad.

Long story short, it was an exhausting weekend.  I enjoyed the writing panels and shopping (I got a plush Umbreon which is kind of awesome), but I probably won't go back next year.  I might actually be having another baby next year.  We'll have to wait and see.  Who knows?

Anyway, I've rambled enough about the con.  I'll talk to you again soon.  I'll probably be posting another entry about Disneyworld today.  Bye!