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Why It's OK To Worry About Ebola, And What's Truly Scary

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posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:27 AM
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In my opinion, this is one of the better, most level-headed interviews I've read. It's NPR asking Peter Sandman, a crisis communication consultant who's been working on how people and government officials respond to disease outbreaks for decades, including SARS and H1N1 flu, some simple questions.

Just thought I'd share.



If that's the true risk, why so much commotion over Ebola at home?
...
But the evidence doesn't say that say people are unreasonably, dangerously upset. They're sometimes worried about the right things more than the experts are. I think it's reasonable that when people read that the CDC and WHO say Ebola is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms to think, doesn't that mean you could be fine at 10 o'clock and vomiting in the subway at noon? Then I think you should stay home. What's irrational about that?

So what you've got are people who are climbing the learning curve, and in some cases learning more quickly than officials — learning that you probably can't get it from someone who doesn't have symptoms, but also leaning that the people who told you that have made some mistakes.

I also don't see people pulling their hair out and running around as if they're on fire. People just honestly want to know, and when the spin goes contradictory or political, the waters get very murky.

So I find that people randomly posting that people are going "crazy" without really thinking through what these said people are actually saying and actually worried about, that makes me crazy.



The governors have gotten a lot of heat from the White House and CDC for trying to impose quarantines on returning health care workers. Why is this so controversial?

The public health people are getting it wrong and framing it disingenuously.

There's certainly a case to be made that quarantine is excessive, that active monitoring would be good enough. But it seems to me to be a pretty open debate on whether quarantine is excessive or appropriate, and it depends on how cautious you want to be. Saying that the science proves incontrovertibly that quarantine is wrong — it's bad communication and it's bad science.

The CDC is desperately trying to recruit people to go to West Africa. Nobody asks the obvious question — if you're worried that quarantine is going to hurt recruitment, aren't you biased when you say quarantine isn't necessary?

Yep. This is why people distrust. There are conflicting agendas here and they are breeding confusion in our minds. So what we tend to do is pick one stand or viewpoint and stick with it...looking at only that which might tend to support that viewpoint and keep us in our comfort area for how we personally have decided to deal with the issues at hand. And that's okay. That's pretty much human nature.

And I will also argue that it has more to do with common sense and logic in the vast majority of cases than with the politics many are trying to assign this to and to use to attempt to explain the opposing viewpoints. But that's the comfort zone for a lot of people, particularly people whose whole lives revolve around politics and punditry.

Most of us though aren't like that, don't think that way, and don't react that way. The unfortunate thing here is that those who, who are in fact in the minority, get the most airtime for some reason. And other honest people who actually are trying to get the real word out, to balance it, well they get outshouted too.

I think the federal government and CDC would have been far better off to have hired Sandman as a consultant than to hang their hats on a whiny nurse.


You have reason to worry that your daily life a year or two from now could be significantly worse if Ebola is all over the world. But what you can do in your daily life to protect yourself against Ebola now is absolutely nothing.

There's more in the article, about vaccines and fighting the disease in Africa, but also presented in a reasonable manner.

Far more reasonable than most of what we're seeing is, I do believe. Too much for me to quote and comment on here, though I may later


[Read the rest here.]
edit on 10/31/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:39 AM
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For me, this isn't a politics issue, and it frankly disgusts me that it would become one.

That it has become politics shows how disconnected from reality people are. It has been so long since we've been faced with a real public health threat of this type that people I think simply don't believe that it can actually happen in this day and age. It's a thing akin to a zombie plague; it's a scary fantasy and not a reality. So, they just assume that anyone who is actually worried about it is being hysterical or playing some kind of angle or acting off a deep-seated racial animus and not actually reacting to the disease threat itself.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:45 AM
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I think people find solace in different ways. Some echo their fear and project it into this medium. Others joke. Some rationalize. Then some people feel better about their own fears by mocking other peoples fear.

I thought it was funny how some peoples tune changed as soon as a suspected or real case arrived in their own back yard.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I agree. And particularly like this statement.


So what you've got are people who are climbing the learning curve, and in some cases learning more quickly than officials...


Learning faster than officials is something that we prove here everyday. We gather more sources and debate more openly.

And the experts that these officials get to talk to? Well there are as many experts willing to admit they just don't know things about this disease too.

And since when, when this is the case, is erring on the side of caution or wanting to know about something, wanting to protect people and mitigate risk, especially when so many things are unknown, a bad thing?



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: nukedog

Does it sometimes seem to you that those mocking other peoples' (alleged) fears and overreactions are in so many cases the very same people who support the people who are provoking that fear (either intentionally or unintentionally)?

And in some cases the very same media outlet who tries to sensationalize then criticizes people for reacting to the sensationalism.

Totally with you on the changes in some people as it got closer to home too.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:54 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Being cautious is never a bad thing. I've spent the last nearly 20 years living with a microbiologist who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry with some decently bad stuff, nothing like Ebola, but bad enough. He's concerned about how this is being handled by officials, so I'm concerned. He's also not ready to jump ship and head for the hills, either. We watch and we wait and we shake our heads in disgust and thank God that this thing isn't truly airborne. Not yet.

We thought our medical profession was smarter than it has shown itself to be, and this is very rude wake-up call.

We already knew our government was inept, and the naming or a top level political operative with no relevant experience to head up Ebola response has only confirmed that.

So, I guess the takeaway lesson here is that if something that spreads like a flu ever does hit? Seriously, do not wait. Head for the hills because this country will tear itself apart. Maybe Ebola will teach us the lessons we need to learn, but at this rate, I'm not holding my breath.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

If it's big pharma it's big business, if it's big business it's politics.

We live in a disgusting world.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:59 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko
So you have an even keener insight to this than many. No need to panic but watch it carefully, which, I believe, is the majority view. And learn about it and from it too.

Maybe it's a good thing that we're working out all the pesky kinks about quarantine and isolation now, so heaven forbid, if it ever should hit as you say, we will be more prepared.

Along these lines, the part of the article that talked about how many cases the different countries are actually able to handle and at what point it gets out of control was pretty spot on too.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:01 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Not sure... It is the internet though. Well known place for people to stir up the pot to get a reaction. Who's provoking the fear though? I listen to enough AJ to know when someone is pushing fear. I must have missed that here.

As for the msm it's just business as usual. I like how the Ebola Czar put a muzzle on them. Shows you who is really in charge doesn't it?

edit on 31-10-2014 by nukedog because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: and14263

Too true. This part of the article made me cringe just a bit. But then I uncringed and thought, there really and truly are good people out there, trying to find cures and vaccines and doing their best to actually help, and that's how I'm going to view the statement.



Help put pressure on the government to push harder on vaccine research. They're pushing much harder than they were, but it's way smaller than the Manhattan Project. Get them going on virus time rather than project time.

And here's where you are spot on. When government gets involved, big pharma gets involved, and then everything becomes a mess.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:11 AM
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originally posted by: and14263
a reply to: ketsuko

If it's big pharma it's big business, if it's big business it's politics.

We live in a disgusting world.


Yeah, my husband is at this minute sitting over at his computer desk twirling his Snidely Whiplash mustache and figuring out how to screw us all over. He lives for it ... count on it.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:18 AM
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This article might be a good thing for people to read.
I think it's telling that they mention the volunteers coming for a month and leaving.
They also note the secondary effects of the outbreak eclipsing the death toll of the primary disease.
The title of the article is "The World Is Not Safe"
read this
edit on 31-10-2014 by badgerprints because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Part of the problem is that government is tangled up in this. I've made no secret of this, and it is no secret if you go out and look. Ebola is a level 4 pathogen, meaning it can only he handled in very specialized labs of which there are very few in this country. All of those labs are either government or university run.

As far as I can tell, none of them are in private hands at all. Part of the reason for this is because of the regulations and restrictions on such a facility (for good reason; they handle the nastiest bugs there). They are enormously expensive to operate and build because of the red tape and litigation. After all, no one wants one in their backyard for obvious reasons, and once you have it, you are going to be subject to an unending stream of inspections. Let's be clear, the level 2 lab where my husband works is always either being inspected or preparing for inspection, and that's two grades of bio-security below what Ebola requires.

So, any private firms researching Ebola pretty much have to do so contracted through the government in some way, either through a university or through the government, just to have lab access.

Then, you have all the difficulties associated with testing and trials. That's a whole different issue. How do you do controlled human trials, for example? It's already going to be difficult enough to arrange for the animal testing in primates because of animals rights issues, and believe me, most pharmas are moving away from animal testing as much as possible for both PR concerns and because it's really expensive for them, not to mention unrealiable.

These are just some of the reasons why you haven't seen much work on Ebola.


edit on 31-10-2014 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: badgerprints
Thanks. Great perspecitve there. This especially jumped out at me, particularly in light of recent events:


He says NGO experts flying in with their sometimes “patronising” ideas for a rotation of one month and flying out again doesn’t help. “I’ve been at meetings, where I’ve just been a bit embarrassed at some of the NGOs that have been there who are shouting at this guy at the ministry. He’s a one-man directorate who has not stopped working for six months, who doesn’t have internet, who doesn’t have a driver and has been absolutely been on the frontline for six months,” says Johnson.


This is a good article too: How (and How Not) to Battle Flu: A Tale of 23 Cities



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko
That, and that up until now, there haven't been large numbers of infected people to observe or test on?



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: ~Lucidity
a reply to: ketsuko
That, and that up until now, there haven't been large numbers of infected people to observe or test on?


That to. Plus, how excited would you be to the be the test subject for that vaccine?



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

First in line! Not.

What conderns me is them saying they will have millions of doses by the end of 2015. Ummm....
edit on 10/31/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:10 AM
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I am not scared of vaccines but let me put it like this. Remember "Bend Gate," when the i6 was released?

Ummm yeah.... I'll be way at the back of the line



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:42 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Being cautious is never a bad thing. I've spent the last nearly 20 years living with a microbiologist who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry with some decently bad stuff, nothing like Ebola, but bad enough. He's concerned about how this is being handled by officials, so I'm concerned. He's also not ready to jump ship and head for the hills, either. We watch and we wait and we shake our heads in disgust and thank God that this thing isn't truly airborne. Not yet.

We thought our medical profession was smarter than it has shown itself to be, and this is very rude wake-up call.

We already knew our government was inept, and the naming or a top level political operative with no relevant experience to head up Ebola response has only confirmed that.

So, I guess the takeaway lesson here is that if something that spreads like a flu ever does hit? Seriously, do not wait. Head for the hills because this country will tear itself apart. Maybe Ebola will teach us the lessons we need to learn, but at this rate, I'm not holding my breath.



Seriously singing my song! I'd only add that according to stories circulating today, the problem will be this coming January~March time frame. As pointed out in one article, if the rate of infection in West Africa continues unabated into the first quarter of 2015, it is inevitable that it will spread into South America and probably Mexico. That will mean...significantly more people than one or two health providers a month, coming to the US for Ebola treatment. And all of that in face of the flu season with its mirror image symptoms.

And...there's more new news today, i.e. that Ebola, while it isn't typically spread airborne in the same way the flu is, it is spreadable by way of sneeze droplets landing on objects like door knobs, car handles, etc.

My add to your comment would be that rather than wait for an airborne killer virus to head for the hills, I'd suggest people begin NOW, planning an exit strategy from the major metro areas where the preponderance of the Hospitals and International airports are located.



posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

You've confused me. Is this joke or sarcasm? Really lost me here. xxx



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