You’re All Going to Die (But Probably Not From Ebola)

“Hi. I’m from the CDC. Anybody seen any Ebola?”

OH MY GOD!!! EBOLA IS IN AMERICA.   WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!  SOMEBODY SAVE ME!   TAKE MY WIFE, TAKE MY KIDS, TAKE MY DOG!   TAKE ANYBODY BUT DON’T TAKE MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Everybody got that out of your systems now?

Good.

It seems there was a guy in Texas who came into the country and when he was asked if he was declaring anything it slipped his mind to say, “Yep.  I got Ebola.”  He went to a hospital.    Laid around for hours.   Had projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea.   It was a real mess.   He died.  Now a couple of nurses have tested positive for Ebola.

Uh-oh.

Congress swung into action and did what they did best.  Held a hearing.  Grilled the head of the Centers for Disease Control.   Talked tough, flexed for the camera, scared the hell of a lot of people.  Not that that’s ever been hard to do.   Say mass shooting spree that kills children and nobody bats an eye.  One guy dies from Ebola and its “bring out your dead” time.

Stop.  Please.   Take a moment and use your higher reasoning facilities.   Your chance of contracting or dying from Ebola is remote.   But if going nuts is something you feel a necessity to do, go ahead and enjoy your meltdown.   I’ll be right over here not sweating it.

“Holy Crap! Here comes the Ebola Zombies!”

It’s easy to dump on a nurse or doctor or some other medical professional for not taking every precaution, but before you do, please note that you’re still more likely to die of influenza than Ebola.  We’ve done the Pandemic Panic Dance many times before in the past and maybe we’re moving ever closer to the day when another Black Plague descends on us, but this is not that.

Your typical healthcare worker is probably more knowledgeable about how to avoid infectious diseases than you do, washes their hands more often than you do, and is more up-to-date with their vaccinations and immunizations than you are.

While you’re passing out blame and labeling people “asses and lunatics” spare a little of that withering contempt for the ones you elected.

Nobody ever thinks about the Centers for Disease Control until a moment like this arises and then it’s “Why aren’t they doing this and why aren’t they doing that? Why aren’t they keeping me safe?” Meanwhile, the professional cynics simply smile and sneer, “See what happens when you depend on government?” As if the private sector could have or would have prevented this.

Fear of contracting Ebola may be legit or it may turn out to be the latest pandemic that wasn’t like the newest Russian flu, swine flu, or bird flu The saturation coverage of the news media of the potential for a rampant Ebola outbreak is completely out of proportion.

The screenwriter of the film Contagion says there’s plenty of blame to pass around, but the mass freak-out stuff?   Y’all need to chill that shit out.

While Ebola continues to paralyze many Americans with the fear of a widespread outbreak, “Contagion” screenwriter Scott Z. Burns says he’s concerned that “we’re making a lot of rookie mistakes,” even though the virus has been around for more than 40 years.

The 2011 movie, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh, revolves around a new deadly disease causing a global pandemic. “Contagion,” which was shaped with mountains of research, was designed to show how widespread diseases can be worsened by fear, hysteria, the media and other human factors.

“What scares me more than Ebola are the more mundane viruses of stupidity and fear and partisan politics,” he said.

Burns also noted that the issue of how to control the disease has become political.

“People are blaming the Republicans for cutting funding, and other people are now saying the president also cut funding to the CDC … We’re placing blame, and that’s just not very helpful,” he added.

While Ebola has taken more than 4,000 lives, he believes another disease could do more damage.

“I certainly don’t want to scare people, because that seems what most of the media is doing a great job of doing,” said Burns. “But when I did my research, all the experts told me that they expected there to be a pandemic of some kind of influenza, like we saw in World War I with Spanish Flu. And this isn’t that. This is not what they would call the big one.”

See that?   The worst is still to come.  Isn’t that better?  Or are you still-losing-your-mind over one dead American instead of 4,000 dead Africans?  Or is this is a matter of Ebola wasn’t a problem when it was “over there” but now its a crisis because its right here.   American arrogance and hysteria at its worst.

Fear is good for ratings. Fear is good for cheap politicians trying to win votes based upon public hysteria. Fear is big business.  Losing our collective minds over a disease that has killed exactly one American (so  far) isn’t just silly, it’s stupid.  But then we’re a pretty stupid species sometimes or Men In Black’s Agent K put it so well, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

You’re going to die. So am I. We’re all going to die, but it’s highly unlikely it will be Ebola or some World War Z/28 Days Later/The Night of the Living Dead mystery virus that does us in.

Not training for the Philadelphia marathon.

How easy is it to panic people? This easy.

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