Nature doesn’t play politics. Watch closely as politicians, dubious experts and sycophants in the media lead us on a semantical wild goose chase, while ebola follows its natural progression. “Containment” is the elusive goal in the three African countries with significant outbreaks. We started with one case and reported 18 other people exposed. That story shifted to possibly 100 people exposed in less than 24 hours, demonstrating clearly that statements of “fact” will change dramatically and all the White House narratives in the world will not be able to contain ebola – only stringent, prompt containment efforts can do that.
Watching the circus that passes for an “official government response” should assure you – they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. The Last Refuge blog posted updated reports with photos from around the web yesterday, so mosey on over there and scroll down through the posts. Geesh, here’s an excellent NY Times report with a photo of health officials leaving the unsanitized home of the four family members under quarantine – no protective clothing in sight, despite reports of vomit, etc. in the home from the ebola-striken man. Now, I work in a store and we’re supposed to don personal protective clothing for everything from spilled bleach to bodily fluid messes, yet health officials walked in unprotected. I’ll bet there were political discussions internally about not wanting to create a panic with showing up in protective clothing. Political posturing won’t protect us from a spread – ONLY stringent containment efforts will do that and they must be done quickly, because once the spread begins, all their political powwow medicine won’t matter one bit. Ebola doesn’t follow poll numbers or play politics – it’s an equal opportunity killer.
Aside from spreading, the other real concern, just like in flu outbreaks, lies in the fact that the more the virus spreads, the faster it mutates. This doesn’t require a doctorate in epidemiology to understand. If ebola goes airborne in transmission, we’ve got a monumental crisis quickly and the ditherer-in-chief will become irrelevant, as states will need to act quickly to protect lives. A huge part of being able to contain disasters is being willing to sit back and think about worst case scenarios and plan ways to avoid that from happening. This isn’t a partisan political gotcha game – it’s potentially millions of American lives at risk. That’s not fear-mongering – that’s fact.