Please forgive my somewhat out of character bluntness, but the “stakes” here are no less than about 1/2 of the total human population. Call it 4 Billion souls.
So we’ve already dodged the bullet once (maybe – we still have about 3 weeks to know) in Dallas. So what happens? ANOTHER brilliantly clueless idiot who is enamored of his own specialness and noble cause manages to put all of NYC (and through it all of the globe) at risk of a disease that has a 70% mortality and no proven treatment.
Yes, there are a few speculative treatments. I hardly find it comforting to think of a few speculative treatments as how to ‘bet the future of humanity’ in a prudent way.
Also, against my will, I’ve been afflicted with MSNBC. It would seem that the ratings of CNN became so dismal that the local “mix” of DISH TV has swapped MSNBC for CNN. OK, I need some alternative to Fox (that I watch most) as the “loyal opposition” to get my balance of new feeds… but really, MBSNC? (That’s Mostly BS No Content /snark)
At any rate, I was watching it during commercials on Castle and Fox… And they are all oozing with endorsement for how courageous this doctor was for running off to Africa to treat Ebola. And the usual mantra of “must have a fever, and only direct wet contact” and all makes it Just Fine that this irresponsible Dr. was out bowling with friends and riding cabs and subways “prior to being symptomatic”. Completely clueless that “wet contact” includes sneezing within a yard or two and that “symptomatic” might have included the prior two days of feeling unwell…. (While Fox was fixated on some jerk attacking police with an ax, as though that mattered…)
How may people have to die? How many $Millions need to be spent on “contact tracing”? How many cities need to be put into fear and panic? How much crap has to be recorded before folks realize that Hubris, that the belief that we actually know this disease and can control it, that this arrogance is just giving this virus exactly what it wants? Free passage globally and wide exposure.
As I’ve pointed out a few times now, the 21 days in NOT a bright line. It is a 95% level. The other 5% take longer to show symptoms. That the “wet contact” is a ‘kinda sorta’ with aerosol working fine (think sneeze or cough) and that dry contact also works as it can live on things like door knobs for several hours. Oh, and not to mention that dogs can be asymptomatic carriers and that rats and other animals can get the disease as well… So here was MSNBC specifically stressing that it was EXACTLY 21 days and then you are perfectly safe and that it was ENTIRELY wet contact or you had no risk. Never mind that Infected Doctor on the subway (coughing? sneezing? grabbing the hang rail?), you didn’t kiss him, so what’s the worry?
Look, I’m glad he went and helped those folks. But really… think about it. For the $Million or so that will be flushed down the toilet just from his sickness and contact tracing everyone on his travel route, we could have built a Very Nice (perhaps even world class) resort area in Africa. All those MSF (Doctors Without Borders) folks and anyone else wanting to return to home ports could spend a month (or more) in a nice hotel, with pool, fine dining, and more. On a nice African coastal area complete with beach and bar. Reducing the risk to the rest of the world to “near zero”. Hell, if he wants to have a ‘booty call’ to the spouse or betrothed, send her over for free on the next flight (to stay for 30 days all expenses paid…) I’m fine with that. BTW, this Dr.s GF is now in quarantine… I’m sure that’s going to make him look like a ‘good catch’….
So instead we have this “drag folks who were maximally exposed all over the world THEN find out if they are packing virus” strategy? Really? That is the BEST we can do?
Given enough trials, one of these times the ‘bug’ will escape to the general public. Some returning guy will spend the night with a hooker who has a dozen clients in the next dozen days (who did not give their names) and it’s “off to the races”. During flu season, those dozen will not be diagnosed as Ebola until AFTER they have infected another 2 or 3 each. At that point, in a dense urban place like NYC, this ends when 100% are dead, recovered, or naturally immune. The present mortality rate has at least 1/2 and up to 70% of NYC dead. Maybe not this time, but soon enough….
I would much rather we had that Taj Mahal resort built and the folks stayed in it for 30 days, on the taxpayer dime. It would be cheaper, and it would remove the global risk from sending Ebola by express air all over the globe.
Frankly, given the MSNBC coverage, I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder. A need for ‘absolutes’ when there are none. A need to feel superior (despite not thinking as well as the average bear…) Some kind of need to hurt others with personal attacks. And more. Look folks, this NOT a partisan issue. NOT AT ALL. It is entirely a question of exponential growth of infection, 70% mortality, 100:1 contact expansion in western urban areas, and no effective vaccine nor preventative. (Yes, the MSNBC folks extolled the virtue of bunny suits… all the time not mentioning the number of medical folks who have used ‘protection’ and still got sick. Sheer hubris…)
So how many must die before folks on The Loony Side Of Left realize that:
1) This disease does not do what you expect. It does not care that you are wrong.
2) It spreads by “moist enough and sometimes dry” paths. Occasionally a dog or other animal. Life is not a bright line, it is a bell curve of variations.
3) Virus is shed even before your temperature reaches 101.5 F and sometimes folks are asymptomatic carriers for a while.
4) It can, and does, move into animal vectors (dogs, rodents) and you have no clue how to stop that mode of spread.
5) An exponential growth curve of infection looks like “not much” until just after it has exceeded all possible ways to contain it. Then you lose all the cities in contact with that spot. In the western world, that’s 100% of the cities with airports.
6) You are not good enough to beat that virus in 100% of “trials”. One failure costs up to 4 Billion dead. In that context, it is better to inconvenience some doctors and nurses by having them stay (all expenses paid) in a nice hotel resort in Africa rather then having R&R all over the globe. (Or heck, send over a Cruise Ship and let them spend a month at sea getting home.)
7) This is exactly the wrong place to make it a partisan issue. This is a 100% all hands and all resources on deck right now, no waiting, politics be damned issue. Stop being all ‘in your grill attitude’ and ‘faux offended’ about things like a travel ban. (And certainly lose your white guilt induced racial attitudes about Africa. This virus does not care what color you are, and your family is just as ‘at risk’ as those folks in Liberia.) We need a maximal response NOW, with 100% containment (that needs a travel ban) along with a 100% ‘resources in’ to Africa. And that may well mean a bunch of lily white doctors and nurses being quarantined in Africa for months before leaving. C140 military cargo planes and LCAC delivery of all we have (stuff can go in, even if people out are restricted).
I just don’t know how to make this point clear to the brain dead folks repeating that “what? me worry?” mantra. They are betting the lives of millions of people and they just do not have that right, nor the skill at prevention they think they have. We already have a large number of medical professionals using the prescribed protective measures who are dead, sick, or recovering from Ebola. That is what is called an existence proof. At this point, to not recognize that fact and prevent further movement of exposed people out of the hot zone is deliberate criminal negligence.
Once again, my prescription would include setting up one (or a few) CBW Military Hospitals in Africa. We have them ‘in mothballs’ waiting for a war. Use them. Now. One for anyone on the medical staff in Africa who becomes infected. The rest for everyone else. Send all of them we have, if needed. We ought to be able to give the same care in them as we can give in Dallas… or better.
Set up an R&R area in the Hot Zone. Make it very pleasant to stay there. Fund it on the taxpayer. I’m fine with that. Just nobody leaves by air until 30 days after last exposure and no Ebola in a blood test.
Send all the medical and other aid needed to quench this outbreak as rapidly as possible in Africa. It’s an exponential growth curve, and that means send all you have as soon as you know you have an ‘issue’. Any delay means a massive increase in costs and risks. Do not wait, send it all in now.
Contain, and maximally treat. Do not, under any circumstance, think you know this disease and can control it. You do not, and can not. “Best Guess” is all you have. It is already mutating and changing.
The ‘stakes’ really are about 70% of 8 Billion or so people. Do not lose sight of that. Forget politics. Forget party. Forget what you want, and what you believe. Do put out all you can to prevent spread and effect cure as rapidly has possible. Yes, that means travel bans. Yes, it also means sending every and all possible aid into the hot zone. (Heck, if someone actually institutes this, I’d say send me too. I’ve worked in hospitals and I believe in eating your own cooking. I am not prescribing for others what I would not do myself.)
At present what we are doing is “exactly wrong”. Incremental aid. Incremental staff (and them with ‘rotation’ for R&R back ‘home’ all over the planet) knowing that many will get sick. Shipping the virus air express to all sorts of otherwise non-exposed regions. Then trying to reel back in the virus after it has left the barn.
What will it take to get folks realizing the risk they face? Perhaps some cases breaking out in Washington D.C.? A few counties (or States?) in the USA under lock down? Loss of, oh, I don’t know, maybe Paris? A 2000 point loss on the Dow after folks realize what happens to profits once all air traffic halts as folks hunker down at home and don’t buy anything?
Those outrageous possibles are not all that unlikely. At present we are hoping that we will only get ‘one or two’ cases at at time and that spread is under 1 to 1. That is ONLY a hope. We had one in Dallas, that infected 2 (so far), that may or may not have infected more (we find out in a couple of weeks…). Now we’ve had a second spot in NYC where Herr Doctor wandered around the city for a day or two prior to a 100.3 F fever (originally reported as 103 F in the news). How many will become ill from him? 1, so the chain continues? 2 so we have a double? Maybe a dozen, so we start the end of NYC? We will know about mid November….
How many times do we get to roll these “double or nothing” dice before we roll crap dice?