A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola: Week 2? Month 2?

As a public service, we would like to remind all our fellow Americans that the current outbursts calling for a travel ban for anyone from countries where the Ebola virus has become an epidemic is not the solution to eradicating the virus. For one thing, it won’t work because no one will obey it.

Keep in mind that we are a country of rebels. Many of our citizens resent anything the guvmint tells them. This country was founded on a rebellion. Hell, our most patriotic holiday is a celebration of our forefathers giving the finger to authority. So you really think everyone will just suck it up, nod in agreement that the guvmint is doing it for our own good, and not try to scheme about ways to get around the ban? Really?

We should also keep in mind the great inspiring words inscribed in stone on one of our greatest icons of freedom, The Statue of Liberty. The inscription reads, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free!” It does NOT say, “Give us your tired, your poor. your ewww! Is that rash infected? You turn around right now and go back where you came from! Now git!”

Governors Cuomo and Christie of New York and New Jersey - erring on the side of caution or extreme mass hysteria (it can be a fine line sometimes) - have ordered mandatory quarantine for healthcare workers returning from the disease ravaged areas of Africa. Healthcare experts - you know, the ones who spend every day of their careers studying these types of things - do not believe that it is a good idea. They argue that Ebola does not become contagious until the victim shows the symptoms. They also point out that such requirements could scare away healthcare workers - you know, the people who spend every day of their careers helping people recover from their ailments.

President Obama has requested that the governors back down from their quarantine threat. The president has been most active in recent weeks focusing on the Ebola problem. He’s even picked a czar to take personal charge of the crisis, coordinating actions among all the government agencies who have a direct interest in solving this problem. Ho-hum! While this czar, a former Joe Biden adviser, may pull off the organizing part, critics have been quick to pounce on Obama’s actions simply because he is Obama. Perhaps the president should have appointed a man who’s built a career from building disorganization into organization. Yes, I’m talking about none other than Obama’s political adversary from 2012, Mitt Romney! Boy, would that appointment get tongues wagging inside the Beltway! 

In any case, we’ll never hear from him again. The czar may become so immersed into the bureaucratic tangle of the federal government that he will disappear from public view. I don’t know how appointing someone with a title which has its roots in (long deposed) Russian royalty will necessarily do anything. Beyond giving the public confidence that somebody is actually doing something about a complex problem which can be beyond the grasp of mere mortals, I can’t remember any lasting accomplishments of past czars. 

Remember the Drug Czar? The Education Czar? I rest my case.

Otherwise. the administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis has paled in comparison to other administrations. The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 nearly decimated the capital of Philadelphia during George Washington’s tenure. That time the President left town on a pre-scheduled break just as the disease was starting to claim lives. Woodrow Wilson had to contend with the Influenza Epidemic of 1917. Wilson wasn’t as lucky as Washington; he had nowhere to run. This influenza pandemic was worldwide and killed millions.     

So far under Obama, one person in the US has died and perhaps a half dozen have been treated and are expected to recover. My point: Washington and Wilson, no matter their other shortcomings, knew how to throw an epidemic! Now under Obama, we’re already panicking!

(Thank you for reading! For those of you playing along at home, the score now is Mass Hysteria, one…Common Sense, coming to bat!)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

Travel bans don't work; we have studies to support it.

October 28, 2014 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you, Spo! Obviously no one is reading those studies.

October 30, 2014 at 7:10 PM  

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