In case you have been living under a rock the past few weeks the word of the day has been EBOLA. The only thing worse than the death and suffering it is causing is the nonsensical panicking it is producing in America.
Let us go by the numbers here. According to the World Health Organization (insert your clever joke reference Doctor Who, The Who, or Whose on First Base) since the start of the outbreak in West Africa, there have been an almost 3,500 deaths. As of today, it’s estimated that as many as around 7,500 are infected with the virus in West Africa. This is a severe and deadly disease.
Do you want to know how many have infected America? The answer is 1, and that does not count since the man in question was affected then traveled to America where he is diagnosed.
So we have a severe disease that is affecting many people, but it seems to contain in Africa for the time being. You would think that we as a country would pull our bootstraps up and remain cautiously calm. Yeah, that is not really what is going on.
Every government agency down to the head sanitation worker has to come out publicly to calm the panicking masses and show that there is a plan if Ebola were to come to the old’ red, white, and blue. The nightly news is flooded with stories about potential cases, how hospitals are preparing, and a variety of people being interviewed who are scared out of their socks about getting the Ebola.
Truth is the typical American has the same chance of getting Ebola as I have for catching a leprechaun and forcing him to show me where his pot of gold is. First off Ebola is a severe disease to pass for the general public. Unlike the common cold that can spread in the air, Ebola can only transmit through contact with bodily fluids. So unless you’re getting down and dirty with Ebola-Eddy or swapping needles with Victoria-Virus-Carrier, you are fine.
No disrespect to any of the countries in West Africa but this if friggin America here. We have some of the highest medical standards in the world. In America we have access to clean water, for the most part, are well fed (some more than others), and we know to trust medical providers. Unfortunately, the population in West Africa, for the most part, does not have many of the basic things that we take for granted that are keeping us safe.
I’m not saying don’t worry about Ebola. I’m saying let’s be reasonable and maybe even a little rational about it. Not everyone from West Africa who travels to America is going to be the typhoid-mary of Ebola. Even if someone does come ashore with the disease, we are one of the best countries in the world to handle the virus. The odds of an actual epidemic are lower than the odds of a Kardashian getting their Ph.D. in physics.
There are plenty of other things to get worked up about in America. The economy is still not back to pre-recession levels, wars in the middle east, Sarah Palin is allowed to speak on television are a few that come to mind. So lets put down the pitchforks and bottles of hand sanitizer and focus on what matters like the upcoming zombie-apocalypse,