The Fight Against Ebola

I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness – a real, thorough-going illness

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Ebola is scary. Any disease that makes you have a delirious fever, throw up, contract raging diarrhea, and cause you to bleed internally as well as from your eyes, ears and mouth, is scary. More than scary. Oh, and did I mention that it kills about 90% of people who contract it? I don’t want to get Ebola. And I’m sure you don’t want to get Ebola. Good news is that even though it’s come to the U.S., I’m probably not going to get it, nor are you.

Bad news is that there are tons of people in Africa who have it, are going to get it and are going to die from it. The healthcare system (and I use that word “system” very loosely) in Africa is completely different than ours. As much as we like to bitch about Obamacare and how much better the European health care system is, we don’t have problems. Africa has problems. One doctor even reported that in a hospital he worked in, the nurses went on strike (and I’m willing to bet this wasn’t a strike over wages) and it was him and 55 Ebola patients. He reported that patients, in their delirium, fell out of bed and were lying in pools of their own vomit and blood. Bodies are being left on the street. There is no method to the madness and the sad thing is that the CDC predicts that 1.4 million people in Africa could be infected with Ebola by January.

1.4 million.

So what are we, the mighty United States, the protectors of the universe, doing about it? Well, we’re sending soldiers there, naturally.

It’s funny, because my first thought about how to better serve the people suffering from Ebola in Africa would be to send more…you know, doctors, nurses, and qualified health professionals. People who, you know, know something about Ebola and how to treat it.

But hey, what do I know? I’ve never had to fight a war against Ebola. Because it has to be a “fight” and a “war” doesn’t it? It can’t just be “treating an epidemic” or “trying to control the outbreak.” We’ve got to go all Rambo on Ebola. #’Merica.

The soldiers are going to be building hospitals, which is great and very useful, it was just an odd thing to come across in an article about Ebola. When I read the heading “More US Troops Will Be Sent to West Africa” I cocked my head. Huh? How are soldiers and war getting involved here?

A friend of mine aptly pointed out, however, that you cannot FORCE doctors to go to Africa to help. You can, however, force soldiers. So instead of them getting possibly blasted by an IED or shot, they’re going to maybe get Ebola. No rest for the weary. Not for a country that always has to be at war with SOMETHING, even if it’s a virus. Next you’ll be hearing about how we should just bomb all the infected countries. If only Ebola could be destroyed with a thirty ot six to its damn self. Because we need to destroy Ebola, to win the “fight”, we can’t try and just do something normal like…cure it.




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