Are You Helping Feed the Fear?

Ebola.  A deadly disease.  We’ve all seen it all over the news right now.  I don’t know about you, but my Facebook has blown up with it since they announced that a Dallas, TX resident came down with it.  Ever since then it seems that everyone, their mom, and their mom’s dog had allegedly come into contact with this guy and “potentially” have contracted the disease.  But nothing of course has been confirmed.

People are terrified.  And it’s driving me insane with how ridiculous is all is.

First, let me just explain a few facts about Ebola:

1.  It is NOT airborne – meaning that you cannot get it if someone is sneezing or coughing in your vicinity.  Unless they sneeze or cough directly into your open mouth.
2.  The virus is spread through bodily fluids – so unless you touched their vomit or copious amounts of diarrhea and then touched your mouth, you’re fine.  Or maybe if you french kissed them.
3.  The disease has about a 21 day life in which it can manifest into symptoms
4.  You are contagious ONLY  when symptoms begin to show

So after reading these facts, you might still be a little afraid.  I understand.  I’m a little freaked out by a disease that can shut down all my organs and lose all my blood through my anus too!  It’s a terrible disease.

But here’s something that I’m certain of.  I AM NOT going to get it.  You are NOT going to get it.

The people who seem to be freaking out most about this are Texans.  I too am a Texan.  Am I worried about getting it?  No!

The infected guy is in an isolated room, surrounded by nurses/doctors in hazmat suits, deep in a hospital, away from people, and is not being released until he is no longer contagious.  It’s like people think that because he’s in Texas, one of the particles in his bodily fluids might somehow escape the hospital, and make it all the way to our homes!  Mercy me!

Everyone wants to talk about all of the people he came into contact with when he returned to the US.  Let’s just go back to number 4 of the facts I listed.  He wasn’t showing any symptoms when he came into contact with other people.  So he didn’t spread the disease.

So far, no one who came into contact with him has come up positive for Ebola.  So why are people still freaking out like an epidemic is about to spread into the US?  There are reasons why an epidemic has happened in Africa, but will not happen here.  The most prominent reason being the control we have over people going in and out of our country.  Even a TSA Pre-Check won’t get you out of submitting to a thermometer checking your temperature for a fever at the airport if you’ve come from an Ebola present location.

Here’s what you can do to stop spreading the fear:

DON’T POST about Ebola in the news.  This does nothing for the situation, and just spreads the panic.   We don’t need to know that some homeless guy might have taken some quarters from the infected dude.  Ebola quarters!  Oh no!

Shut down those who spread the news verbally, trying to convince others that we are on the brink of the next big epidemic.  Politely tell them the facts, or simply walk away from the conversation.

Tell those who won’t listen that they will be fine as long as they follow basic hygiene principals.

Do you know who is benefiting financially from your fear?  News shows broadcasting a constant stream of updates over Ebola.  You’re helping them get ratings through your worries.  Grocery chains and pharmacies selling masks (that won’t help you!), hand sanitizer, soap and Lysol.

I’m going to go ahead and quote a paragraph in World War Z by Max Brooks that really gave me an aha moment:

““Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.” That blew me away. “Turn on the TV,” he’d say. “What are you seeing? People selling their products? No. People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.” Fuckin’A was he right. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells. That was my mantra. “Fear sells”.”

It’s true.  Fear does sell.  We’re all so busy freaking out over a disease that has no effect on us that we’re not even focusing on important diseases/virus’ in our own damn backyard!

Do you know what you SHOULD be worried about?  The percentage of unvaccinated children has been rapidly increasing every year because some idiot claimed that vaccines could cause autism.  Even after that theory was fully shot down, there are STILL parents who are doing this.  Meaning that children are spreading it to other children.  Meaning that adults who were not vaccinated are at risk too.  I personally know people who have suffered from this insanity.  A friend gets an illness, who gives it to an infant, who almost dies, but who also spreads it to other unvaccinated adults.  A whole group of people are now sick with a serious virus/disease.  Because of this, the following diseases are thriving in our children when they should be long dead.  All of these have the potential to kill you and your kids if not, cause permanent damage to them:

Meningitis
Polio
Measles
Mumps
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Even more so, you don’t see people freaking out over the fact that HIV and AIDS are still running rampant!  While there is no vaccine for AIDS or HIV, it’s easily preventable, yet people still can’t seem to put on that condom.  Undiagnosed HIV and AIDS will kill you, yet we don’t hear about it on the news.

Stop feeding the fear.  If you’ve done it unintentionally, just stop!  Be cautious of yourself, and your hygiene and you will be fine.  Wash your hands.  Don’t touch surfaces and then touch your mouth.  Stay away from people who appear to be ill.

Don’t these sound like just…normal instructions for I dunno…illness in general?  Shouldn’t you do the same with the flu?  Or a cold?

Calm down people.  You’re not gonna die of Ebola.

Also, enjoy the art created by my little sister Emily Howard depicting the Ebola Virus through clay.  I think it’s pretty.  🙂

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