Stop It, Ignorant Fools

The sensationalism around the current Ebola epidemic has got to stop.

Look, I get that Ebola is scary. The mortality rate for the 26 outbreaks in Africa over the last ~30 years has ranged from 25-90%. So yeah, Ebola is deadly. But that is no excuse to ignore scientific facts and spew nonsense.

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Really, Donald? We should abandon American citizens who volunteer their time and expertise to help people in poor countries with inadequate medical resources? These people are heroes who deserve our full support.

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Seriously, Donald? Inciting panic is both juvenile and counterproductive. Oh, and Donald? A plague is a contagious bacterial epidemic. Ebola is a virus.

Recent events certainly haven’t helped silence those who choose hysteria over rationality. Last month, a man from Liberia flew to Texas and unknowingly brought Ebola to the US for the first timeBut he was asymptomatic upon arrival and the virus isn’t contagious until symptoms appear. He sought medical attention when he first started feeling sick but the hospital initially sent him away with antibiotics (which are ineffective against viruses) even though he told them he had just come from Liberia. He did everything right but his case was mishandled, and he paid with his life. Two nurses who treated him became infected because proper protocols were not yet in place. But let’s also keep in mind the additional ~74 people that came into contact with him for the same reason (not knowing he was infected and improper protocol) and never got sick. Six additional Americans who contracted Ebola while working with patients in West Africa are in various stages of treatment here in the US.

(OMG, one’s in Donald’s city!)

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Fact: There was nothing frantic happening, except Donald’s tweets.

Additionally, ridiculous illogical quarantine procedures have been put in place in NY and NJ even though CDC guidelines don’t mandate such actions. Governor Christie refused to release a nurse returning from Sierra Leone for three days despite her lack of symptoms and two negative Ebola tests. She could have been trusted to quarantine herself at home as per the CDC recommendation. Instead, she was put in a room with no shower, no flushable toilet, and no TV or reading material. Is this how we want to treat our humanitarian medical professionals?

According to Donald, we still shouldn’t let them back into the US in the first place.

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(Excuse me but) Shut the fuck up already, Donald. Maybe consider spending some of your billions to help instead of lobbying to deny fellow Americans (who are helping) the best possible care. And? Cut the crap, Christie-Cuomo and give our humanitarians the respect they deserve. People in positions of influence need to calm down, not fuel the fire.

Can we finally stop the Ebola hype and look at the facts?

Unlike the flu, Ebola is not an airborne virus. It’s transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids. Let me translate that: Relative to the flu, it’s not so easy to contract. Also? It hasn’t been a death sentence for people receiving immediate care in the US. There have been 9 cases treated here. The only death was the first guy, the one initially misdiagnosed. Everyone else recovered. That’s 100% survival for people with immediate access to care in the US. Think about that compared to the 50% mortality in West Africa right now. The people that don’t have access to all of the advantages of Western medicine are the ones dying. We shouldn’t be punishing the heroes who help them.

We should be putting policies in place to encourage more people to do the same.

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Check out more nonfiction stories at yeah write.

photo credit: hukuzatuna via photopin cc

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20 Responses to “Stop It, Ignorant Fools”

  1. Vanessa D.October 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Donald really does need to STFU and get a decent haircut already. The hysteria over this has been ridiculous. We have real epidemics here and the threat of flu season right around the corner and everyone is panicking over a virus they have almost zero chance of catching. Even in Jamaica (I sometimes read their paper) people are panicking over Ebola and they have the far more worrisome threat of Chick V they should be concerned about.

    • StacieOctober 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      You hit the nail on the head Vanessa. Flu season should be all kinds of fun here…

    • StacieOctober 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

      And haha! The hair is its own phenomenon (and did you know it has its own twitter account?).

  2. Cyn KOctober 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    I live in Northeast Ohio where there was an Ebola freak-out when a nurse flew here two weeks back. The news broke as I waited for my husband in out-patient surgery. That’s all that was on the televisions in the waiting room for the next 7 hours.
    When we reported back the following day, there were suddenly new questions at check: “Have you traveled to Africa?” “Do you have flu-like symptoms?” “Have you been in contact with anyone who has traveled to Africa or had flu-like symptoms?” A week later, before his next appointment, no questions. Apparently the hype had died down enough.
    Thanks for bringing your scientific analysis to the issue.

    • StacieOctober 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Ha! I’m ok with the question asking. I just can’t stand the unjustified fear (and misinformation). Flu is way more likely to kill people here (because, hello, airborne!). But I’m dreading flu season because everyone is going to think they have Ebola.

  3. Sam MerelOctober 29, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Thank you so much for writing this. The hysteria over Ebola is making me crazy. First of all, we should have nothing but respect for the Americans who have gone to West Africa to help the people who need medical care the most and should definitely not treat them like criminals, barricading them in quarantine rooms in hospitals without basic necessities like a shower and toilet. Second of all, you just know that so many of the people contributing to the ridiculous hype and panic are the very same people who haven’t gotten themselves or their kids flu shots, an illness far more concerning and dangerous to us at this time of year than Ebola should or will ever be. And don’t you think that if some drug company announced tomorrow that they had a vaccine for Ebola, those same people would refuse to get it and to give it to their kids for fear of whatever fictional “side effects” they think the vaccine would have?

    • StacieOctober 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      You are so right, Sam! Donald is among the anti-vaccine crowd (big surprise). So stupid. Flu will kill way more people in the US this year.

  4. CourtenayOctober 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Trump appears to have a case of Obamola…

    When I called the pediatrician’s office to schedule an appointment for a croupy toddler, I was asked if she’d had any contact with people traveling outside the US in the last 21 days. Because I send my 3-year-old to greet people stepping off of international flights, what?

    Although, if it means that ex-douche has to quarantine himself for 21 days after taking Trampa to France for her 30th birthday over Christmas, I’d be OK with that.

    • StacieOctober 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Ha! He definitely does. Your doctor’s staff has probably been told to ask everyone but it’s still funny. Unfortunately for you, I don’t think they’ll quarantine flights from France anytime soon.

  5. DianeOctober 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    AMEN!!! Couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for this!!! 😀

    • StacieOctober 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      😀

  6. Bill DameronOctober 29, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Can we compare the freak out here by right wingers trying to pin this on Obama to the total lack of dialogue, research, etc. by the same right wingers to the AIDS epidemic.? Reagan never said anything for YEARS about AIDS . It really is frustrating and maddening.

    • StacieOctober 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      Yes, we can. And? In a lot of ways HIV was scarier. HIV was a very “smart” virus. It would infect people and then be contagious for YEARS before symptoms presented and that’s why no one said anything and it was hard to contain. And it’s a total coincidence that the first person to bring it to the US was a gay man. If not, it would have been a different story, infecting men and women equally (like in Africa). By comparison, Ebola is dumb. It happens too fast to really have a huge global reach.

  7. LisaOctober 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Stacie, this is a huge public service, informative and beautifully written. I wish that level-headedness were contagious.

  8. Leslie HolsingerOctober 30, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Absolutely perfectly stated Stacie! Everyone needs to read your post. Pardon the pun, but I hope your wonderfully crafted post here goes viral!

  9. AshaOctober 30, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    This is one of THE most articulate pieces I’ve read yet about the absurd Ebola-panic that seems to have gripped the western world. Such a muddying of facts and peddling of irrationality. You’ve hit exactly the right note between extreme frustration and calm rationality.

  10. ScottOctober 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    This man never has anything intelligent to say.

  11. MelanieOctober 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Right on! This is fabulous! I know this is your field but mine is tangentially related. I’m a health attorney for Philadelphia and I handle quarantine and isolation cases. If I had to pick a communicable disease to worry about, I’d pick TB.

  12. soapieOctober 30, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    i cannot believe DT posted all those tweets… misinforming the public, especially when he has a huge fan base, is a real disservice to our public health. what a shame.

    thank you for posting this!

  13. LaurenOctober 31, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Amen, sister. Great post.

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