Columns / Discourse / October 24, 2014

Political Pundits: Ebola comes stateside

The United States has its fair share of internal and external issues, but one world issue in particular has a vast majority of the population chewing their nails (but only after carefully disinfecting them) and sitting on the edge of their seats. The obsession with Ebola entering the country and kickstarting some sort of domino effect Bubonic plague is what is truly plaguing the country – a country that was colonized by the descendants of those who survived the real Bubonic plague hundreds of years before. In a country where the number one cause of death is heart disease in both sexes, where childhood obesity is literally lowering the life expectancy for younger generations, where alcohol is the cause of over 30 percent of all automobile-related deaths, we are somehow all afraid of a disease infecting third world countries without advanced medical technology 4,000 miles away.

Currently, the American soil Ebola virus death toll is only one; two others did return to this country carrying the disease, but both have fully recovered. Ever since the first of these patients landed back on American soil, and even for a while before that, the facts about this hemorrhaging virus were blurred into the rumors. Contrary to popular belief, one cannot contract Ebola through the air, nor can one contract it by drinking or eating. It cannot be acquired through mosquitoes. One can only be infected with the disease via direct contact with bodily fluids (blood, urine, saliva, vomit, etc., you know plenty more of them) or by handling infected meat, or “bushmeat,” as it is referred to. This is how these epidemics of the virus get started, through the handling of the flesh of an infected mammal, not by actually eating it. Usually these (rather common) outbreaks stay within small villages and do not afflict mass populations of people Ñ but there are always exceptions to the rule, especially in a high-tech, fast-paced society where it is so easy to travel from one place to the next, even thousands of miles away.

So what makes Ebola so scary?

It is my belief that Ebola scares the living daylights out of everyone in a first world country because of the horrendously unattractive fact that the virus is one that causes violent phlebotomizing, both internally and externally, in nearly every area of the body. Though the virus starts out like a common cold or perchance a flu, symptoms quickly become a bit more sanguinary. Considering that the virus is transmitted via bodily fluids, this is beyond horrifying. But why doesn’t living in a first world country with extremely capable medical developments make it any easier to not be afraid?

We, as residents of the United States, know that it is indeed capable to survive this virus with the help of medical staff. Outbreaks are much more easily contained and aborted in this country, since we have more capabilities to do so. Though it is contracted rather easily for a virus, most families in America would sooner bring their loved one to a hospital when he or she started bleeding from his or her ears before they would attempt a healing ceremony and allow the infectious bodily fluids to lie around the living spaces, as is what may be happening in these small secluded villages throughout western Africa. Different places in the world obviously handle disease epidemics like this differently; our difference is that we know where Ebola comes from and how not to contract it.

Plus, a vaccine is in the works. Watch out, Darwinism, this worldwide plague of natural selection will be defeated by our own evolution.


Shannon Caveny

Tags:  death discourse Ebola Political Pundits rumors United States vaccine virus West Africa

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