Ebola is Coming for You.
Is the world becoming a scarier place to live in, or are we just more aware of scary things because of social media?
Many people don’t watch or listen to the news because it’s too depressing or upsetting, and we have the feeling of “well, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Normally, I’m one of those people.
But recently I decided to become more informed about world news. This was likely inspired by my love of NPR, which not only updates me on world and local happenings, but is also home to The Moth and This American Life. (If you don’t know those, you should download the apps. But we’ll get to that some other time.)
While most news stories from around the world are shocking and sad, there’s less of a feeling of panic because these events are in places I would never visit, and does not affect me during my day to day. Well, two nights ago driving home from the gym I heard something that not only scared me, but could quite possibly cause panic here in the USA.
The first case of Ebola has been diagnosed here in good ol’ Texas. That’s right. Some dude from Liberia came to Texas to visit family. He did not feel sick until a few days after his arrival, at which time he went to the ER and was turned away, and then went back to the ER a few days later where he was then diagnosed.
Now, Ebola has been on a rampage in Africa and surrounding countries over the past few months, but this is the first case of someone having it here in the States. I’m sure the news stations (*cough* Fox *cough cough*) are using as many fear-mongering tactics as possible and are joyfully scaring the crap out of people, but I must say I am one of those scared people.
My first thought is: how many people did he touch or talk to during his time here? What about the people on the plane? How about his family here? Did they go to work? Who is at the work place? So quickly these things can go out of control. Well thanks to the nice folks at NPR I’ve learned a little bit more about Ebola, and while still freaked out, at least I’m slightly educated on the topic. I will now drop some Ebola knowledge on you readers:
- Ebola can only be spread through bodily fluids (Blood, sweat, feces, vomit, semen and spit.)
- Ebola is only contagious once you begin showing signs of the virus. This guy did not have symptoms until after he was in Texas, so people in airport and plane should be fine.
- Ebola can be spread after the person dies. So… don’t touch them!
- Doctors Without Borders says, agents such as chlorine, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents can kill it. So if you are really freaking out, just lay in the sun and wash yourself with soap all day everyday.
Those are the main points I have discovered, which I guess has calmed my fears a tiny bit. So all you people who don’t want to listen to the news or know what is happening in the world, that is OK with me–but please wash your hands.