An epidemic afflicting America: fear about Ebola. Avoid the carriers. Facts are the antidote.

Summary:  In April 2009 I wrote Are Americans easily panicked cowards? I think not, but many experts disagree. It’s still relevant, well-worth reading today. Unfortunately the past 5 years provide evidence I was wrong. We have become easily panicked cowards. Activists and political leaders — on both the Left and Right — see this, and influence us by fear-mongering. Successful websites, like Zero Hedge, gain a mass audience with a steady diet of alarmist spin on the news. Examples of this abound. In the summer it was the Islamic State. With the coming of Fall we have a new excuse to wet our pants: Ebola.

“I do think you have to be concerned. It’s an incredibly transmissible disease that everyone is downplaying, saying it’s hard to catch.”
— Dr. Rand Paul (Senator, R-KY), interviewed by Glen Beck, 1 October 2014 — No, it’s not “incredibly transmissible”.

Ebola in the New York Daily News

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Over 30,000 die by gunshots per year in the US (11 thousand are homicides). Police execute people in the streets. We’re waging war in a dozen nations. An Ebola pandemic sweeps across Africa. But we’re obsessed with the unlikely possibility of an epidemic in the US from a not easily transmitted disease (while doing far too little to help the Africans suffering from it).

As usual, much of the news media swings into action against us, creating whipping up hysteria for their profit: “How the New York tabloids covered Manhattan’s brief Ebola panic” (Washington Post).  Our leaders quickly deploy the inevitable war analogy (since militarization is the only way America can relate to problems): “We need to declare war on Ebola” said Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) at a Senate Committee meeting. And politicans exploit our fears for political gain, as described by Alternet:

Blowing the threat of ebola out of proportion and trying to link it to Obama has been a constant theme on the right in recent days. Elisabeth Hasselbeck of Fox News literally demanded that we put the country on lockdown, banning all travel in and out. In a bit of race-baiting, Andrea Tantaros of Fox suggested that people who travel to the country and show symptoms of ebola will “seek treatment from a witch doctor” instead of go to the hospital. Fox host Steve Doocy suggested the CDC is lying about ebola because they’re “part of the administration”. Fox also promoted a conspiracy theorist who is trying to claim the CDC is lying when they caution people not to panic.

Other right wing media joined in. Tammy Bruce blamed ebola on the “Obama legacy”. Laura Ingraham said Obama was prevented from doing more to stop the disease because of his “core ties to the African continent”. Rush Limbaugh even went as far as to accuse Obama of letting the disease spread because he supposes liberals believe “we kind of deserve a little bit of this”.

It’s worse on the political extremes, as described by the Daily Banter:

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Fear: Sinatra

In just the past 24 hours, the suddenly dangerously irresponsible Fox News has given quack shrink Dr. Keith Ablow a forum to claim that Barack Obama might be subconsciously allowing Ebola into the country because he wants America to suffer; ancient Sumerian curse Phyllis Schlafly told WorldNetDaily that Obama is consciously allowing Ebola into the country because he wants to make America more like Africa; and of course talking penis Donald Trump took to Instagram to lecture Obama about sending U.S. troops to West Africa. That, again, is just the past 24 hours.

But Twitter, that’s truly where the action is. Over the past couple of days “#Obola” has risen up the hashtag ranks, becoming an online clearing house-slash-insane asylum for every imaginable kind of Obama/Ebola-related conspiracy. And what would an orchestra of white noise like that be without a virtuoso conductor to wave his arms gracefully — or in this case, manically — and bring everything into sync?

Enter Alex Jones, whose InfoWars site has, over the last several days, published articles with titles like, “Obamacare Will Help Ebola To Spread,” “‘Apocalyptic Scenario’: Discoverer of Ebola Fears Virus Could Mutate,” and of course “What You Need to Do to Survive Ebola BEFORE THE PANIC STARTS.” … If you think Fox News is capitalizing on Ebola hysteria by trying to create more of it — if you think Drudge’s site looks like the apocalypse is going to happen tomorrow morning at 10am — you seriously haven’t seen anything yet. Jones isn’t just publishing politically motivated Obama/Ebola panic, he’s silkscreening it onto t-shirts and selling it. Get yours while they last…

Our eagerness to be frightened encourages the weird folks to crawl out of the dark: “Former SC GOP director: Execute anyone who comes into contact with Ebola — ‘it’s just math’

To see the steady drumbeat that arouses these fears, see one day of headlines at Zero Hedge — October 10.

  1. The Nightmare Scenario Is Around The Corner… Ebola Is The World’s Next AIDS” — Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (source here)
  2. Ebola Pandemic Update: Probable Cases In Brazil And Paris, 7 More Isolated In Spain, WHO Warning
  3. China’s Own “Ebola” Claims Another 1826 Cases
  4. How Ebola Affects The Body” — “70% of those infected with Ebola die”. But not with modern treatment.
  5. An Ebola Outbreak Would Be Advantageous For Globalists” — Quite mad.
  6. Public Health Emergency Declared In Connecticut Over Ebola: Civil Rights Suspended Indefinitely” — Absurd exaggeration.
  7. Passenger With Ebola Symptoms Quarantined At Las Vegas Airport

(2)  Conclusions

Our ancestors dealt with long hard depressions (the 1930s being one of the two worst), fought a civil war to victory, beat back the plutocrats’ rule after the Gilded Age, and suffered through countless epidemics (before modern medicine). I don’t know how we became such easily panicked cowards, but we need not be so. We can find courage in our history, the tools given us by science, and our ability to stand together in the face of far greater threats than those that afflict us today.

Laugh at those who would frighten us. Listen to the voices of reason. Then we can again become exceptional.

(3)  Other posts about Ebola

  1. What you need to know about Ebola. Debunking the myths.
  2. An epidemic afflicting America: fear about Ebola. Avoid the carriers. Facts are the antidote.
  3. While Americans panic at shadows, Ebola strikes hard at Africa
  4. Lessons from Ebola. Let’s hope we learn.
  5. DoD shows its strength, mobilizing to protect us from Ebola (a sad story about America).
  6. We awake from fears of an Ebola pandemic in America. Now let’s ask who’s responsible…, 21 October 2014
  7. Good news about Ebola and its terrifying mortality rate, 5 November 2014

Much of the hysteria results from our loss of confidence in experts; see posts about this problem here.

(4)  Rare good sense about Ebola

  1. Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.“, Washington Post, 1 August 2014
  2. How calm can counter Ebola“, editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, 3 August 2014 — “Health officials say they must act as much to calm fears of Ebola as to contain the outbreak. Media-driven hysteria about Ebola doesn’t help.”
  3. Containing Hysteria About Infectious Disease“, Dr. Eugene Beresin, Psychoogy Today, 2 October 2014
  4. Out of control: How the world’s health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster“, Washington Post, 4 October 2014
  5. In the Face of Ebola, Stay Calm“, Anna Altman, op-ed in the New York Times, 7 October 2014
  6. The Ebola alarmists: Stoking panic will not help America fight Ebola“, The Economist, 11 October 2014

(5)  For More Information about Ebola

  1. Ebola virus and U.S. preparedness: Review of research perspectives“, John Wihbey, Journalist’s Resource, 3 October 2014
  2. ‘In 1976 I discovered Ebola – now I fear an unimaginable tragedy’“, The Guardian, 4 October 2014 — A history of Ebola, by its discoverer.
  3. Controlling Ebola: next steps“, Ranu S Dhillon, Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, and Jeffrey Sachs, The Lancet, 8 October 2014

(6)  About what might the greatest foe of America

See all posts about fear, and its grip on America.

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Fear Wolf

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38 thoughts on “An epidemic afflicting America: fear about Ebola. Avoid the carriers. Facts are the antidote.

  1. Just imagine telling our ancestors we’re waging a war on plants. …opium poppies and hemp. And we’re losing it.

    ps Ebola is indistinguishable from flu at the beginning. Flu season is incoming. Be afraid, very afraid of people who are afraid…

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    1. “Flu season is…coming.”

      I’ll be the first to admit that Ebola has been good for readership over at my blog. Last month, four of the ten most read entries were about the disease and the most read entry among those posted this month is also about the epidemic. However, a later entry included the perspective of the head of the Department of Public Health in Kent County, Michigan, home of Grand Rapids. He pointed out that flu kills between 30,000 and 50,000 Americans every year, while Ebola has so far killed just one person in the country. His advice was for everyone to prepare for the bigger risk and get a flu shot.

      http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2014/10/michigan-prepares-for-ebola-after.html

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    2. Neon,

      Excellent advice. Thank you for passing it on.

      This touches upon one aspect of the ebola hysteria, the remote possibility that it will mutate to a pneumonic form (i.e., contagion via airborne particles). While possible, the danger is far greater of the common flu mutating into a highly lethal.

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  2. We live in a time where wanting something to be true causes many people to conclude it MUST be true. This is something children do before they move on to higher levels of cognition.

    Facts are indeed the antidote. But it must feel too good to be afraid. And the hawkers of this garbage take the results all the way to the bank.

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    1. kensmiles,

      You raise a question I’ve long wondered about. Why have we become so fearful? I’ve guessed the same as you — it “feels good to be afraid.” We read the news as we go ride the roller coasters at the amusement park.

      But why, if we’re not seriously terrified, then why our support for costly public policy actions — and actions that strip away our liberties? I don’t understand what is going on.

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  3. FM,

    These things, involving human behavior, are easier to comment on than to truly understand. I am similarly confused. As with many things these days, people seem to respond to and act against their own interest.

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    1. “feels good to be afraid.” It would seem to be an easy abdication of responsibility to me, much like the Technoutopia vs Apocalypse dichotomy that is the mythology of the present age.

      What I mean is that being engaged by something that is (presented as) beyond our control allows us to throw up our hands, say “what can I do?” and go back to doing nothing about anything meaningful. Similarly, if “they” are going to save the world with technology and/or if “they” are going to turn it into a wasteland, “I” can go back to deciding what kind of coffee beverage suits me and await delivery of the glorious/horrifying future to be imposed upon me.

      And so there is a craving for the easy way out, the way that says that we can’t do anything about it, it’s so far beyond us that we can only be passive receptors of our fate. It’s easier than actually engaging and struggling in the world, and we seem to be quite happy avoiding struggles.

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  4. There is a real story out there, and it’s happening in Africa. The epidemic is spreading, and there could be a whole lot of deaths, but Americans should cut the whining and worrying, it’s not about you. Repeat, it’s not about you. Really, at least we should try to show a little compassion for the people dying over there. We should try faking compassion even if we don’t actually care about Africans, because it just makes us look like self-centered pinheads constantly being in fear that some white person might actually die. Really, the Euro-ethnocentrism is getting old.

    http://www.humanosphere.org/human-rights/2014/08/newsweeks-racist-misinformed-ebola-cover-story/

    This has to be the bottom, right? Can it get any worse than this? Newsweek’s totally bogus Ebola-Ape cover story? Fear-mongering wrongness — so many ways.

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    1. Ivory Coast and Senegal are hardly known for their health care excellence and border with affected countries and still Ebola hasn’t spread to them. More evidence of a manufactured global crisis.

      Imnsho it’s a matter of politicians looking for problems to solve in order to get votes, and especially for non-problems whose solution is therefore guaranteed. Not a conspiracy, a degeneracy of our politics.

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    2. Just as a first instinct, I’m more likely to presume randomness rather than an issue of manufacture determines which country is affected first. Also the climate of the tropic zones near the Equator, the diseases are just tougher, more deadly. It’s not just political, these bugs are just nastier. Ebola is not the only thing in the air that can kill you. This and a history of distrust of authority, partly the history of colonialism makes everything more difficult. The USA is sending US soldiers in moon suits and machine guns to help. I think we’re going to find the history of colonialism and our reputation from recent overseas adventures causes problems — makes this all more difficult.

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    3. Oops, and one correction. Liberia is kind of a weird case far as colonialism. Maybe I can argue that was colonialism too — but I was taking a bath and thought, ooh, it doesn’t quite fit the usual mold really.

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  5. Two days ago, you had a solid piece on the rise of junk science and the skepticism that it leads to from the public. Yesterday, I read a public radio story that described how PHDs in Seattle are doing their own research and have avoided and delayed vaccinating their children. Perhaps the stories are related. http://kuow.org/post/exposing-herd-seattle-schools-lowest-vaccination-rates

    One of the consequences of Ebola coming to the United States is how it will expose what may be thought of as “the ordinary incompetence of everyday life.” We saw that at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and we are likely to see more as Ebola spreads. For the medical profession, this incompetence shows itself in illnesses that originate in hospitals and in malpractice. These errors normally only effect individuals, but with the Ebola virus, the consequences will be larger.

    That said, ordinary incompetence is not a reason to doubt that our public health system will learn from mistakes and that their responses will become more effective over time. In hindsight, we will wish that we had done any number of actions earlier, but that is the imperfect nature of human learning.

    How the political right will distort this process is another matter. Daniel Henninger in the WSJ raises legitimate questions on the functionality of large bureaucracies, but only within his thesis that these bureaucracies are a threat to our welfare. Peggy Noonan believes that the CDC’s message of remaining calm shows contempt for the public. Exaggerating the threat of Ebola is another way of showing that “government is the enemy.”

    In our anger at the Secret Service, we discovered that our respect for the office of the President remains a shared civic value, one of the few. The vaccination campaign against polio in the 1950s was an important civic accomplishment of that era. In politically healthier times, containing Ebola in Africa and the United States would similarly be an exercise in civic virtue. But these are not such times.

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    1. Dan,

      You rise some interesting points. However I disagree with the framing on all points.

      (1) “it will expose what may be thought of as “the ordinary incompetence of everyday life.”

      Unless you display perfection in all aspects of your daily life, calling this “incompetence” is incorrect. It means “inability to do something successfully; ineptitude.” Ineptitude means “a lack of skill”. None of these apply to the hospital staff in Dallas.

      (2) “These errors normally only effect individuals, but with the Ebola virus, the consequences will be larger.”

      That’s not a useful framing. All systems function at less than 100%. Good systems, like the US health care system, have a high degree of redundancy and resilience — and so can operate under far more difficult circumstances than edoba is likely to create.

      (3) “Daniel Henninger in the WSJ raises legitimate questions on the functionality of large bureaucracies, but only within his thesis that these bureaucracies are a threat to our welfare.”

      This is GOP propaganda, part of their effort to undermine the Republic. As you said, “exaggerating the threat of Ebola is another way of showing that ‘government is the enemy.’” Does Henninger say that the military (and other large national security bureaucracies) are a threat to us? Does he say that the large bureaucracies of the global mega-corps are a threat to us?

      (4) “Peggy Noonan believes that the CDC’s message of remaining calm shows contempt for the public.”

      Ditto. She says whatever promotes her narrative. There is no need for logic or consistency in propaganda. Nor do the GOP’s agents have any concern for the public welfare.

      (5) “In politically healthier times, containing Ebola in Africa and the United States would similarly be an exercise in civic virtue. But these are not such times.”

      Now you go to the heart of the matter. Civic virtue does not mean anything to revolutionaries. Indeed, it’s their enemy.

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    2. Dan,

      Trivial side details: “I read a public radio story that described how PHDs in Seattle are doing their own research and have avoided and delayed vaccinating their children.”

      I see nothing in this story about “PhD’s” not vaccinating their children. However, I’m sure there are some such. A doctorate does not make one a polymath, and on weak minds might create a condition of illusory superiority.

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  6. Fabius

    I don’t even know where to begin here. You used to be balanced, but now you’re just a hack, repeating MSNBC talking points. Let’s go down the list:

    “Unless you display perfection in all aspects of your daily life, calling this “incompetence” is incorrect. It means “inability to do something successfully; ineptitude.” Ineptitude means “a lack of skill”. None of these apply to the hospital staff in Dallas.”

    No, but that’s a strawman. The conservative critique isn’t aimed at the hospital staff. It’s the CDC’s total lack of credibility, telling us all to ‘calm down, we’ve got it.’

    Well, they didn’t “have it.” Photos of unprotected workers pressure-washing Duncan’s infectious vomit off the sidewalk (http://bit.ly/1x4A45r) as a woman in sandals strolls through the runoff (guess what, Ebola is incredibly contagious, transmitted by fluid to skin contact). The CDC sent the family back to the apartment that was completely contaminated with Duncan’s fluids, only later moving them after public criticism. Then a Dallas judge goes strolling into the apartment in street clothes. Finally the CDC sends in workers properly protected to clean up the apartment (http://dailym.ai/1D7mkKG), but a sheriff’s deputy is inadvertently exposed (http://bit.ly/1wtKOti). All the while, CDC is telling everyone, don’t worry be happy. It’s the disconnect between the calming words and the incompetent actions that are alarming. Don’t piss on us and tell us it’s raining.

    “All systems function at less than 100%. Good systems, like the US health care system, have a high degree of redundancy and resilience — and so can operate under far more difficult circumstances than edoba is likely to create.”

    On what basis are you making this judgment?. Ebola is highly infectious and has a 30 -100% fatality rate, even when properly treated. This is more like the 1918-19 flu epidemic that killed healthy people, not just the old, young, and sick, only it is transmitted by contact with any infected person’s bodily fluids (http://1.usa.gov/UYmDpN). And the three week incubation period gives tremendous opportunity for anyone expressing symptoms to spread them widely, with geometric expansion before the victims are even aware they’ve been exposed. And the CDC is going to track everyone? Just like the forgotten security guard? But those damn bitter clingers are just irrationally fearful again and don’t believe our upstanding civil servants when they reassure us. Riiiiiight.

    “This is GOP propaganda, part of their effort to undermine the Republic.” Yes, and all the statists and collectivists in the Democratic party are NOT undermining the Republic? This is a broad brush with which to paint a political party that attracts a vast combination of interests. Sure, the big money donors of the two main parties are using the Federal government to get special goodies at taxpayer expense, but to pretend that it’s a special vice of the GOP to try to erode liberty is ludicrous.

    The bigger the government is, the higher the stakes for the special interests. That you don’t see that a massive bureaucracy that is easily influenced by big money is quite dangerous, and that it does everything poorly rather than a few things well, is a special blind spot of yours. Absolutely global mega-corporations are a threat. But married to the only institution with the legal monopoly on violence, they are truly a menace. That’s why conservatives constantly push for less government at the federal level and devolving to the state and local levels where they are more accountable and controllable. Divided, they can be monitored and held accountable.

    “Nor do the GOP’s agents have any concern for the public welfare.”

    “Civic virtue does not mean anything to revolutionaries. Indeed, it’s their enemy.”

    Oh my God, impugning the worst motives of people you simply disagree with is such a contemptible tactic. Dana Milbank of the WaPo and Peter Baker of the NY Times (http://nyti.ms/10mwDwr) were shocked, shocked I say, that the GOP was actually concerned about Secret Service lapses and incompetence. I guess when you project on your political adversaries your own desire to see the President that you opposed dead (http://dailym.ai/1hexy92), you can’t believe that your opponents feel otherwise.

    You have gone over the deep end, Fabius. Give it up.

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    1. Time will tell who is correct. Your track record of predictions here makes it difficult to take your self-confidence seriously.

      “This is more like the 1918 flu”

      That’s too wrong to bother with rebuttal (ditto the rest).

      Enjoy your hysteria, fed by those seeking to undermine the US government (as seen in your comments about the CDC). I will post your comment in a few months for public inspection.

      We have gone thru all this pants-wetting hysteria so many times before, most recently with SARS. Perhaps you folks enjoy it, like riding the roller coaster or watching a horror movie. So long as you’re all kept away from the levers of public policy, no harm will be done.

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    2. Arms,

      One part of your rant is easy to refute — the accusation of partisanship. I get attacked consistently by both sides. I kept a running talley for a while here:
      https://fabiusmaximus.com/2009/02/25/politics/

      …but stopped as it grew too long. Attacked for giving tangible examples of how both Left and Right use similar tactics to mislead and manipulate us. Which is logical, as activists on both sides are drawn from the same pool of Americans, and both seek to exploit the same weaknesses in our character.

      Also: the comment about “civic virtue being the enemy of revolutionaries” is not my insight. It’s quite ancient. From memory, Aristotle said some similar.

      Like

  7. Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola“, Lisa M Brosseau and Rachael Jones (experts on infectious disease transmission), Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (U MN), 17 September 2014

    These experts are an example of why the US spends so much on health care, but gets so little. They urge actions without any regard for relative cost-benefit analysis, or even asking if the money could achieve more elsewhere.

    They state the current consensus opinion, with which they disagree:

    There has been a lot of on-line and published controversy about whether Ebola virus can be transmitted via aerosols. Most scientific and medical personnel, along with public health organizations, have been unequivocal in their statements that Ebola can be transmitted only by direct contact with virus-laden fluids2,3 and that the only modes of transmission we should be concerned with are those termed “droplet” and “contact.”

    These statements are based on two lines of reasoning. The first is that no one located at a distance from an infected individual has contracted the disease, or the converse, every person infected has had (or must have had) “direct” contact with the body fluids of an infected person.

    Their recommendation:

    Although there are some important barriers to the use of respirators, especially PAPRs, in developing countries, healthcare workers everywhere deserve and should be afforded the same best-practice types of protection, regardless of costs and resources. Every healthcare worker is a precious commodity whose well-being ensures everyone is protected.

    If we are willing to offer infected US healthcare workers expensive treatments and experimental drugs free of charge when most of the world has no access to them, we wonder why we are unwilling to find the resources to provide appropriate levels of comparatively less expensive respiratory protection to every healthcare worker around the world.

    As experts they consider all possibilities. However they clearly state that these is a potential threat, not a current one.

    The potential for transmission via inhalation of aerosols, therefore, cannot be ruled out by the observed risk factors or our knowledge of the infection process.

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  8. Your article is ridiculous. It was noted,”…flu kills between 30,000 and 50,000 Americans every year…” and yet the flu has none of the potency of Ebola. A Doctor fully versed in care of Ebola patients caught it , also a nurse. Maybe they made a mistake, or maybe it’s mutated to become an airborne disease. It has before in the case of monkeys once in a clinic.

    I myself would have closed all air travel to infected areas and maybe ALL continental air travel. It’s not illogical to presume that Obama doesn’t do so for political reasons. After all he’s completely stopped policing the Southern US border. This, to my mind anyways, is to flood the country with voters for the Democratic party. A coup in all but name. With a contagious disease on the loose at the same time forgive me if I don’t leap to congratulate him on his compassion at my expense.

    Maybe it will all work out ok but if you catch Ebola just remember your nice article calling anyone concerned chicken little as your lungs fill with fluid, and your shitting and vomiting blood. Of course if it comes to that good luck on getting anyone to take care of you. Modern health care is only for the first 20 or 30 thousand after that it will be every man for himself as the hospitals will completely break down.

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    1. Sam,

      It’s nice of you to come by and share stuff you made up, or heard from somebody who made it up. Our leaders smile to see your comment. You and those like you, so easily brought to pants-wetting fear, make America easy to govern.

      The experts at the Centers for Disease Control, and our other medical institutions, will handle this — despite your terror.

      “but if you catch Ebola just remember your nice article calling anyone concerned chicken little as your lungs fill with fluid, and your shitting and vomiting blood.”

      We’ll check back in a few months to see who is correct. Meanwhile, I feel sorry for you. Life has so many real risks, it’s sad to see someone so overcome by such low probability risks.

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  9. My apologies I forgot something. You say,”…avoid the carriers…”. You also say,”…30,000 die by gunshots per year in the US…”. So…Avoid Blacks?

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    1. I thought you’d like the last comment. Make you feel superior? That’s the effect I meant it to have. Surely you believe that Blacks are just held down by the Man and only behave badly because of ill breed Rednecks, like me. Only ill breed Rednecks warn about contagious diseases.

      You said,”…The experts at the Centers for Disease Control, and our other medical institutions, will handle this — despite your terror…”

      I’m not afraid. I’m an ill breed Redneck. I have plenty of food and water. I’ll be fine. As for the “Experts”, they are only Men. I take what they say and weigh it against other evidence and make my own conclusions.

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  10. The eponymous Sam proclaims: “Your article is ridiculous. It was noted,”…flu kills between 30,000 and 50,000 Americans every year…” and yet the flu has none of the potency of Ebola.”

    Sam, you might want to check out the history texts and look up “Spanish Flu.” It killed circa 50 to 100 million people.

    Get back to me when ebola has killed an estimated 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population, as the Spanish Flu did in 1918.

    I know a number of people with PhDs in microbiology and molecular biology. These people aren’t frightened of ebola, but they’re scaled to death of another Spanish Flu.

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    1. I certainly don’t need a PhD in microbiology and molecular biology to know what the flu is nor do I need any history of the Spanish flu. More people died from the flu than bombs and bullets in WWI. I do know that people wearing what has been considered full protective gear have contracted Ebola. I don’t know why and neither do you. Your advice to me is to “trust the experts”. These experts. Hah. Fools to let that nurse go on a plane. These are our experts? Maybe I should just slit my throat now with such experts.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Health/nurse-contracted-ebola-called-cdc-flight-official/story?id=26232809

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    2. Sam,

      How nice that you are so smart, more so than people who actually know stuff. And never make mistakes, too! Can we interview your spouse and co-workers to get their testimony on your 24-7 perfectness?

      Do not suicide! When your awesomeness is seen, you’ll become King of the World!

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    3. Sam,

      It’s a waste of time to talk to hysterical people, like you. However it’s the rule here, so I’ll try.

      “I certainly don’t need a PhD in microbiology and molecular biology to know what the flu is nor do I need any history of the Spanish flu. More people died from the flu than bombs and bullets in WWI.”

      The flu is highly contagious — its airborne, unlike the Ebola. Perhaps you should listen to the experts.

      “I do know that people wearing what has been considered full protective gear have contracted Ebola. I don’t know why and neither do you.”

      The health care workers were inadequately trained (they were using it inappropriatey), and the the CDC’s procedural for taking the gear off was less strict than the WHO’s (who require washing at each step). They didn’t get it through the gear.

      “Your advice to me is to “trust the experts”. These experts. Hah.”

      Better them than your ignorance, fear, and panic.

      “Fools to let that nurse go on a plane.”

      The nurse did not have a temperature over the alarm threshold. These are our experts? Maybe I should just slit my throat now with such experts.”

      Since nobody on the plane was infected by the health care worker (not a nurse), your hysteria and suicidal thoughts seem odd. I suggest professional counseling might be appropriate. Meanwhile, for those interested in facts — from the CDC press conference on October 15:

      Tom Frieden (Director, CDC): When the second health care worker left for Ohio, the first health care worker had not been diagnosed. So all were under active monitoring, but they all were under self-monitoring, and were not being actively monitored because at that point it was not known there had been exposures in the care of the first patient. … The fact that the patient number two did not have a fever until after, until the next day, did not have nausea or vomits on the plane suggests to us that the risk to any around that individual on the plane would have been extremely low.

      … The health care worker number two, who traveled from Ohio on the 13th of October, Monday, should not have traveled, should not have been allowed to travel by plane or any public transport by virtue because of the fact that she was in an exposed group. And although she did not report any symptoms, and she did not meet the fever threshold of 100.4, she did report at that time that she took her temperature and found it to be 99.5. So by both of those criteria, she should not have been on that plane. I don’t think that changes the level of risk of people around here. She did not vomit, she was not bleeding. The level of risk of people around her would be extremely low. Because of that extra margin of safety, we will be contacting them all.

      … {I}f you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone. The answer is no. … Because the risk is so low, we think there is an extremely low likelihood that anyone who travelled on this plane would have been exposed, but we’re putting into place extra margins of safety and that’s why we’re contacting everyone who was on that flight.

      Like

    4. You said,”…Do not suicide! When your awesomeness is seen, you’ll become King of the World!…”

      You misunderstand. I in no way consider myself awesome. I’m just an average guy who reads too much. I’m not even super quick but I’m not dumb. Just average. I’m also , in this case, not really promoting anything but common sense. To stop infectious diseases you don’t let infected people wander around. Now you may argue with this but people would wonder what’s wrong with you. It’s so simple that even simple people can follow the idea.

      You carried on quite a bit about how there was no danger from the nurse flying. Well then why does the CDC want to contact EVERYONE who had contact with her and monitor them?

      Here’s a quote,”…Even though there appeared to be little risk for the other people on that flight, she should not have traveled that way, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Wednesday.

      “She should not have flown on a commercial airline,” Frieden said…”

      I guess this Frieden guy is promoting ignorance, promoting fear, trying to channel anxiety and fear into rage and violence and promoting panic.

      Remember, I’m not panicking. I have lots of food and water. I’ll be fine. I care about my fellow Man even if some races do not.

      Like

    5. Sam,

      You said what you said. Readers can draw their own conclusions about your knowledge and reasoning ability. No further comment is needed.

      Meanwhile the experts in America will handle this disease, as they have successfully handled so many greater epidemics before. The ignorant folk in the back of the bus will snort and mutter. Fortunately for America, with no effect since the experts run things. So far, at least.

      I’m done with you. As I said, responding was a waste of time.

      Like

  11. There’s a big reason why so many people these days rely on fear to promote their agenda, and the reason is very simple…IT WORKS. These people recognize on some level, consciously or otherwise, that it is difficult for people to think clearly when they are intensely anxious or afraid — which makes them more susceptible to manipulation. Make people sufficiently anxious and afraid, and they will both do everything you want and let you do anything you want as long as you promise to keep them safe from the dangers which you have told them are threatening their lives and/or liberty. Intense anxiety and fear can also very easily be channeled into rage and violence.

    Liked by 1 person

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