01 November 2014

Are We Really That Stupid?

I have been watching the political reaction to the current Ebola outbreak with growing amazement. The incredible incompetence of our governors, from both parties, is stunning.

For the record you cannot get Ebola from mere proximity to a health care volunteer who is coming home from Africa - period. Even if, God forbid, the heroic nurse or doctor who is returning eventually develops (God forbid) Ebola, they are not contagious until they become feverish. Even then the fever has to get rather high (100.4f ) before the contagion risk is high.

You do not have to take my word for any of this, although any literate person is more of an expert than Bobby Jindal! Here is a link to a page written by actual experts. Click over to that page and stop worrying. The number one defense from Ebola is hand washing and hand sanitizer!

The real threat from Ebola is to our polity. Yes, States should use their power to quarantine when there is a real threat. But not when we know there is no no medical reason. The potential damage to our republic if governors start using their health powers to confine innocent non-threatening people. It is a short step to the bad old days of McCarthy. We must not allow ourselves to approach that time.

Politicians do not lead. The act when they think they know what the voters want. In this case, the disregard of the medical experts, the political use of the quarantine is what they think we want. We are scared of the disease, and afraid of nurses and doctors.

If you want to be afraid of a disease, be afraid of influenza. Ebola has killed one person in America. Influenza kills between 5 and 30 thousand every year. Arguably failure to vaccinate a child against influenza is abuse. We cannot quarantine agaais influenza, it is too widely contracted and it is airborne. But we can vaccinate. If you do not, that is a great reason to be very afaid.

In the case of Ebola, while we can fault governors for bullying; it is we who should be ashamed: of us.

No comments:

St Laika's

Click to view my Personality Profile page