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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Small Worlds

Small Worlds

Parodying the Las Vegas slogan and stealing the joke I quote "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless it’s a case of Herpes because that will follow you home." It's funny and not funny at the same time. The reason is because while Herpes is a nuisance it doesn't kill you with massive organ failure and hemorrhaging from every orifice.

There once was a time when both good news and bad news traveled at the same speed. That speed was the speed of a galloping horse and the days it took to sail a boat across the water. The news could be birth of a royal heir, the death of a monarch, or war declared or ended. It could be the ordinary letters between family or lovers. On the flipside, it could be the virus in the fleas on the backs of rats. It could be an invasive land animal or a seed that blew on then off the deck to procreate and choke out indigenous species.

Sailing around the globe moved such bad actors as bubonic plague into the realm of weeks of travel time. The invention and refinement of air travel has made such horrors into realities that we must guard against as every juncture. One cannot afford to miss the indicators of infection lest we allow one of those epidemic vectors to reach around the globe and touch us here in the USA.

Europe must be vigilant for their protection. Everyone must be cautious for their own good. While everyone is responsible, it is up to the people who have the resources to track, treat and prevent the spread of disease to do so for everyone's sake.

Recently, Dr. Kent Brantley, the doctor who traveled to Africa to work on treating people who contracted the deadly Ebola virus became ill himself. While he has been improving in recent days, the 90% fatality rate is a bleak statistic. Such selfless acts has prompted one of America's premier analpores, Ann Coulter, to write that he was idiotic to go there to save those people.

While a person such as Ms. Coulter would never expose herself to such a risk for anyone's sake, People like Dr. Brantley do. His work may not save very many people who are infected, but the greater outcome is to stop others from becoming sick in the first place. That is the far more important thing to accomplish. We will not know, but he might have saved Ms. Ann from his fate by stopping the contagion that is now sweeping West African nations.

Ann Coulter's approach to containment would be to stop Africans from flying off the continent thereby stopping the spread. What she doesn't account for is that there are thousands of Americans, Europeans and Asians who fly to Africa and back for their business activities. Any one of them could become the vector that makes Ebola jump the ocean.

The stupid remarks that issue from the mouth of Ms. Coulter and others like her, Donald Trump comes to mind, that will add to the spread of the disease. It is doctors and other aid workers who will save us from this terrible fate.