Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heading to Ebola in the land of stupid

There is an epidemic coming to the first world, Ebola so far has killed one half of all the infected victims. It is killing professionals who know how to protect themselves, doctors and nurses who have stood at the front ranks of this war.

Africa is one of the worst places for this disaster strike, they lack almost all the resources needed to save individuals and to stop the spread of the disease, two very different strategies. The less than ten people in the US who have been treated here had every facility known to man to save them and even then some have already died. If you look at the multi million dollar facilities where they were treated you can only wonder if the fight is already over in West Africa and we can now start society's countdown.

We have no cure, although some experimental drugs seem to be working, the three doses in existence did keep two people alive. But, anyone who has read Defoe's Journal of the Plague Years, Camus La Peste, followed the 1917 Flu Epidemic or the more recent HIV/AIDS epidemic that still rages today around the world knows that epidemics start slow and spread fast in uneducated and ignorant populations.

The United States has become ground zero for stupid when it comes to medicine. From President Reagan's gay disease statements to a presidential candidate's assertion that vaccinations cause autism we live in an age where brains are taking the back seat to science and this time it will kill more than just our children.

We have learned that not vaccinating clusters of people, in this case the kids of the well off but uneducated yuppies, will cause repercussions even among those who tried to help their kids. So when Spain decided to euthanize an Ebola stricken nurse's dog, riots ensued in the streets. The dog was not at risk, but it can carry the virus and pass it along, so euthanasia probably saved a number of people. What this episode does illustrate is that we are still in the land of stupid where the life of a dog is more important than the safety of a city.

We all know that the autism scare from vaccinations were created by a British physisican trying to sell his version of the MMR vaccine. The Ebola vaccine, when it is created, will probably have all the binders and preservatives that all vaccines contain. It's how they are made and how they can be stored until they are administered. In the land of the stupid that will probably mean that some scare artists will convince just enough people to ensure that we will not be able to  eradicate Ebola.

The irony of course will be that the richest nation in the world will firmly defend their citizens' right to die and preserve the deadly Ebola virus just as they are doing right now with whooping cough. We have not even assigned a Surgeon General because the NRA objects to the President's nominee. In the face of what may become a cemetery for half the population, one organization has removed the head of the only national health group.

So, in the land of the stupid and the home of the soon to be dead, our options are very clear, there are damn few of them.