Inbound airport screening is useless. Reactionary raising of funds “for ebola victims” in schools or churches is abject nonsense.
One of the world’s best virologists said today, “I know that President Obama has raised the whole issue about screening at the airport. It has not worked in the past. It has not worked with influenza, it’s not worked with SARS, MERS. You know, all you do is cause confusion and upset.”
These kinds of knee-jerk responses foil real efforts that could stop the epidemic in parts of West Africa.
First, it distracts real and necessary aid of the sort Obama has sent with our military, so that later an idiotic Congressman can vote against raising the deficit to build hospitals in Liberia because their home-town middle school is already doing something.
Second, it gives all those fear loving Americans a quick fix. Quick fixes don’t work. Even gorilla glue doesn’t live up to its reputation.
Quick fix mentality is why Americans are in such a horrible state, today, socially and morally. It’s why there’s jihadism in the Middle East, and so much poverty and disease in America compared to other industrialized nations.
We are the head of the snake that bites our own tail: Our own regular lives become disrupted by irrational fears.
This is squarely, and clearly, because of individual American reactionism. It all begins at home, not with your Congressperson, so don’t blame her. She’s just reflecting your own irrational fears:
The first warnings about AIDS, the nuclear air raid drills I undertook as a young teenager in remote northwest Arkansas, the police cars guarding the East Dubuque bridge after 9/11, the thousands of people certain that at midnight, December 31, 1999, either their whole world or at least their hard drive would stop.
It doesn’t even have to remind. Americans at this very instant are reacting against themselves: A majority want to bomb Syria and Iraq but that same majority doesn’t believe it will work.
There’s no doubt that irrational ebola fear can be found anywhere in the world where the media has sensationalized it, and that’s where it all begins. Americans, though, believe in their choice of media more than anywhere else in the world, despite their lavish protestations to the contrary.
We Americans tout ourselves for being so generous, but so much of “our giving” is senseless and ultimately useless. Is that really generosity?
It’s likely that now that every American knows that ebola is less of a threat to herself and his community than this year’s flu epidemic ready to begin. It’s likely right now that almost all Americans intellectually accept that their chances of getting ebola are nil.
That it is not very contagious. That it is pretty easily contained in a community with even a half efficient public health system.
Much more importantly, I think most Americans know that if we isolate those three countries in western Africa by stopping air service, for example, that we will not give ourselves more protection yet we will manifestly increase the misery there.
Yet: click here.
Or here, of course:
It’s hard for me to not panic against the panic, but I’m trying. Take a deep breath as I’m doing. Let’s remove the exclamation points and get on with our lives. Send your kid to school. Let the airplanes fly to Liberia. Take that vacation as planned.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how you can do good. Let’s just start today by stopping doing bad.