Monday, October 27, 2014

Fear trumps science, as usual


     So ... half the government is telling us that Ebola is very hard to catch, which seems to be true, in that you have to actually handle the bodily fluids of the infected. You can't breath it in on the subway.
     Meanwhile, the other half of the government is calling for travel bans and quarantines and military involvement, and medical care workers who come back from Africa, even if they seem to be a little sick, or not sick at all, are being forcibly quarantined, despite the fact that the only people who are really at risk of catching the disease are the people caring for them.
     Which is it? 
     To me, the really bad thing about the Great American Ebola Scare of 2014, beside the fact that it happened and is still happening, is that next time some genuinely contagious disease occurs, our country will be less ready to cope with it, because people will look back at this enormous to-do over nearly nothing that we put ourselves through over Ebola, the little virus that cried wolf. (Not that it isn't a serious problem in Africa. But we aren't in Africa). 
     The top of the news just now was a nurse who apparently never had the disease is now coming out of the quarantine she never should have been put under in the first place. And of course she might sue. I have a hard time believing that that is really the most important thing going on in the world right now. We should be so lucky. Deep breath time.

2 comments:

  1. I have had a couple of MDs that I see tell me that we should restrict anyone that has been in the infected countries from entering here, other than medical personnel, who would be required to enter quarantine, when they return.
    Both said that the government hasn't the faintest idea what to do & is currently beholden to political correctness, because of the implication of racism, as to why they won't end people from that area of West Africa entering the US.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I expect the threat to the homeland will be pretty much over the day after the election. Of course, Africans will still be dying in record numbers, and we wil really feel bad about that. But, as I believe you observed in an earlier column, there will be the War on Christmas to worry about.

    ReplyDelete