Monday, November 03, 2014

Ebola

A government response to a catastrophe can get complicated during an election year. No matter what the president does, someone is going to take him to task over it.

Ebola is a deadly contagious disease that causes victims to bleed to death from the inside. Most Westerners who have that disease will seek medical treatment and will be put in an isolation ward. Anyone who has that disease and refuses treatment should still be kept in quarantine. Yes, you just read that on a Libertarian blog. Nobody has a constitutional right to become a bio-weapon.

Ebola is so deadly that it is impossible for a victim to pretend that they don't have it. You can't tell if someone has AIDS without a blood test, but an Ebola patient will start out with severe flu-like symptoms and get worse from there. If you don't have symptoms, you don't have the disease, and there is no reason to keep you from going about your business.

While Americans getting infected with Ebola is newsworthy, the real disease crisis is happening in Africa. There are several factors that explain why Ebola infects more people in Africa than in the US or Europe.  First World countries have better healthcare and hygiene, while Africa has wildlife that carries Ebola without getting sick. Fruitbats, monkeys, and other critters that you won't find in the US carry the virus in their bodies. These animals are hunted and eaten by people who don't always cook their food properly.

Obama was correct not to impose a travel ban. To put things in perspective, more Americans have been allegedly killed by NFL players this decade than by Ebola. But nobody is pushing for a travel ban for professional athletes. It's irresponsible for politicians to exaggerate the risks, impose unnecessary quarantines, and scare the hell out of voters.

And if you are a voter, learn more about Ebola before panicking.

1 comment:

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