- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology
Is the Ebola Outbreak Casting the World in A New Invasion of the Body Snatchers?
Contact with bodily fluids is the only means of infection.
Is this similar to the way in which we shunned those who were the first to contract the deadly AIDS disease? At the time, and not until several years of painstaking research among the top scientific people in the world, no one was 100% certain that AIDS wasn't airborne. It never was airborne, but that didn't stop people from worrying about it. Likewise, the contagiousness of Ebola is based upon bodily contact of some kind: skin, fluids, saliva, tears, blood, etc.
UN warns that we have 60 days to stop it.
Certainly, an outbreak of Ebola is nothing to be complacent about. Perhaps it is the fearfulness of the disease itself that has made every comment and every report seem so disturbing. There is nothing more frightening than the limitless power of a ferocious virus, i.e. the Influenza epidemic of the early 20th century.
Common Sense Hospital Protocol
Of course, preparedness under any circumstances, even for the most common form of the Flu, is something that should always be in place. We just learned that it wasn't until today that President Obama is considering issuing an executive order at the behest of National Nurses United to direct all hospitals to implement a uniform, thorough procedure for handling any future Ebola cases, from isolation to treatment to transportation. It seems that, on the one hand, we have been careless and inattentive where the reality of the particulars are concerned (letting the second Ebola nurse violate guidelines by flying on a plane) and, on the other hand, we seem to be easily influenced by the powers of the imagination and the anticipation of world wide disaster (a big part of the nearly 900 point tumble of the DOW this past week is due to Ebola fears around the world).
The fear mounts.
Texas is only a microcosm.....?
The issue is, I believe, that we have been so culturally and politically obsessed with end-of-the-world scenarios, especially those in which there is some form of contagion, such as the radioactivity that produced gigantic, earth-threatening insects throughout 1950s films such as "Them!," or some unimaginably deadly "Big Daddy" virus that might be the hidden offspring of biological and chemical warfare, such as in "The Andromeda Strain," right up to the current crop of film and cable shows such as "The Last Ship." Ebola, like the bird flu pandemic, is certainly terrifying, but we should remember to look at our measurable and knowable reality: it is highly contagious but only through physical contact. As long as we can discard fear and embrace reality, there is no reason for a Bogey Man to haunt and threaten every move we make.