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.