So far, that is. We don't know yet how many people from the hospital have it. Soon, we may know more.
The above-linked CNN story has a cute little animated video with it. The video tells us that of course you can't acquire Ebola through "casual contact" with someone who's sick with it. Oh, no, of course not. You need direct contact with "blood, saliva, mucus, sweat, tears, semen, vomit, urine, feces." And those icky fluids have to directly contact your cut or abraded skin, eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
Hmmmmm. Saliva? Mucus? Ever hear of ... a sneeze?
|This guy's sitting next to you on a bus, or train, or airplane. If he has something that's transmitted by his saliva or mucus getting into your nose, eyes, or mouth ... you're what is technically known as "screwed."|
Now, I'm nothing but a retired physicist. I don't know how difficult it is to contract Ebola from someone who has it. It's well outside my tiny little field of so-called expertise. But the thing is: whether it's easy or hard to transmit Ebola, I'm quite sure "my" government will tell me that it's hard. They will tell me that because they don't really care the proverbial rat's ass whether I live or die. What they do care about, a little, is that I, panicked, will be more difficult to manage than I, complacent, would be.
Meanwhile, the Great White Father is asserting, with perfect dogmatic certainty, that this poor sick nurse HAS to have violated protocol to have gotten sick. And this disease is so hard to catch ... I guess we're supposed to assume that she foolishly passed the time by making mud pies, barehanded, out of her patient's feces. Well, like all the rest of you, I don't even know her name, but I'm already pretty angry on her behalf. I really doubt that she's stupid. I tend to suspect that Ebola's fairly easy to catch. I tend to suspect that we're being lied to. Again. So what's new?
What course of action am I urging on "our" government? Well, nothing in particular. If Ebola transmits easily, it's probably already too late to head it off. Myself, I wasn't planning on getting out of here alive anyway; I'm pretty sure I'm going to hand in my lunch pail at some point or other, from some cause. Ebola's probably a bad way to go, especially since, if it becomes widespread, we aren't going to die in modern, antiseptic intensive-care circumstances, attended by a host of spacesuit-clad medics, because they'll all be dying too. If I were among our rulers, it might occur to me that shutting down air travel, both into the US from foreign lands and within the US, until the situation becomes a little more clear would be a modest and prudent precaution. That won't happen, because there's money to be made (and lost). Still, it's instructive to consider a regime that cheerfully slaughters swarthy foreigners by the hundreds of thousands, on the laughable premise that otherwise, Radical Islamists will take over Peoria, Illinois and start beheading Sunday School students. This same regime would never jeopardize a few weeks' worth of corporate profits for a small reduction in the chances that 50 to 90 percent of the American people might die hideously from an African hemorrhagic fever. It's not as contradictory as it might seem; after all, in both cases, there's money to be made (those "defense" industry CEO bonuses won't pay themselves, you know). Sure is ugly, though.