Is an Ebola Panic Inevitable?

by lizard

CNN poses a question: after the first Ebola diagnosis in the United States, should we worry?

An additional question for Missoulians could be added, considering St. Pats in Missoula is one of four places in the United States set up to handle a patient sickened by the Ebola virus:

There are four places in the United States set up to handle a patient sickened by the Ebola virus, and Missoula is one of those.

It has been since 2007, in fact.

St. Patrick Hospital administrators have no notice about when or if they will be asked to care for someone stricken with the disease that’s killed more than 3,000 people in Africa in 2014. But the hospital has a special wing of its intensive care unit with three rooms modified to safely handle infectious diseases like Ebola.

“We may never get a patient, but we may someday,” said Carol Bensen, St. Patrick’s senior director for critical care. “We want to help alleviate the rumor mill by making people aware of what we offer. We deal with tuberculosis patients fairly often and nobody expects a press release. We care for lots of different diseases here.”

The potential for panic in America is high, mostly because we are constantly fed fear-based reporting by our corporate media. Fear of ISIS is one explicit example of how our fears are manipulated and exploited.

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year from heart disease and diabetes, a direct result of the crap food peddled to us by the corporate food-industrial complex, but fear over those medical conditions aren’t stoked because there is money to be made.

I’m not afraid of Ebola. I’m afraid of how Ebola will be used. I’m also a bit worried by the fact Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years:

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

“If half the animals died in London zoo next week it would be front page news,” said Professor Ken Norris, ZSL’s director of science. “But that is happening in the great outdoors. This damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live.” He said nature, which provides food and clean water and air, was essential for human wellbeing.

“We have lost one half of the animal population and knowing this is driven by human consumption, this is clearly a call to arms and we must act now,” said Mike Barratt, director of science and policy at WWF. He said more of the Earth must be protected from development and deforestation, while food and energy had to be produced sustainably.

Nope, not going to worry about that, right America? Instead the concern isn’t what we are doing to the planet, it’s about the Agenda 21 Communist plot lurking behind the measures necessary to keep our species from joining the ranks of the Dodo bird.

  1. At least we know why the species are dwindling.

    “An increasing number of lawsuits from environmental groups under the Endangered Species Act have been used to bilk taxpayers for millions of dollars in attorneys fees and have made it harder for federal officials to fund species recovery programs.” -Daily Caller.

    • lizard19

      you are such a fucking moron.

    • JC

      Ok, real slowly now: If federal officials hadn’t made an illegal decision that was going to negatively affect species, then a lawsuit wouldn’t have been filed.

      And Equal Access to Justice provisions of federal law allow those who prevail in lawsuits against illegal government actions to recover their costs.

      So I can only assume that you are down with totalitarianism if you think it is ok for the government to act outside the boundaries of law. Or you are an anarchist believing that people and the government should only follow the law when it suits them. Either way, that is not the ground upon which a democratic society is built.

      • Craig Moore

        Last I checked the legality of a decision is determined AT trial, not before. When the lawsuits filed are funded by public tax dollars, those filing those suits have NO skin in the game over tenuous claims and can tie up resolution for years with appeals.

        • JC

          Ever heard of the word “frivolous?” Look it up. No lawyer worth his mettle ever files a frivolous suit, and judges would throw them out. And if you lose a lawsuit, you don’t get paid. Ever work for nothing, Craig? Doesn’t pay the bills, so lawyers and their plaintiffs don’t file lawsuits they are likely to lose.

          “Skin in the game,” eh? So you’re saying only the wealthy can challenge government decisions? Figures.

          And finally, you think all government decisions are legal until proved otherwise in a court of law? What kind of monkey butt you been smoking?

          The government operates illegally all the time. Is Obama’s bombing in Syria legal? Do you believe so fervently in executive authority that the government can do no wrong until proven otherwise in a court? Was Bush’s torture program legal?

          And here I thought you had enough tea party libertarianism in you to question authority.

          • Facts are facts JC.

            In 2011, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spent over 75% of its $20.9 million listing and critical habitat budget responding to litigation from environmental groups.

            • JC

              $20 million? Laughable. Drop in the barrel. If Congress was serious about listing species and critical habitat, it would appropriate 10, a hundred times that amount. No, it would rather short the system so bohunks like you and Craig complain all the way to the comments section of the local news rag about it. You’re just a tool in a system that doesn’t care about wildlife — except those you can kill to eat.

  2. petetalbot

    It’s time to put Texas in isolation.

  3. steve kelly


    I suppose in your mind if something living is being shot, bombed, starved, or made homeless, you are winning. What is it exactly you and your ilk are winning except the freedom to kill indiscriminatly? Is there a grand plan?

  4. JC

    Thinking practically, I wonder if Missoula County Health Dept. has any plans for what to do if/when ebola escapes into the community?

    And I’ll bet there’s a correlation between lowering human populations and raising wildlife populations. I’m sure it has a pretty strong coefficient, too.

    • evdebs

      The Black Death (an epidemic outbreak of bubonic plague) considerably lowered human populations throughout the world, more than any other disease, ever. The vector was rat fleas. Less humans, less domestic cats. Less cats, more rats. More rats, more fleas. So you’re probably right, if you’re broadly defining “wildlife.”

      The vector in spreading Ebola this time was likely an infected bat, purchased at a local market, eaten by a Liberian gourmand.

      Bats are much more closely related to humans than they are to rats, though some people think they’re rodents with wings.

      A hundred thousand or a million years ago, before humans got the hang of using fire and pointy sticks and rocks, sharpened and otherwise, those skills allowed a tiny population to survive and level the eat or be eaten equation. Since then, it’s gotten way out of control.

  5. JC

    Sometimes the government just kills for fun. Between 2004 and 2012, USDA – Wildlife “Services” killed almost 30 million animals — and spent over a billion dollars doing it. And another 4.3 million last year.

  6. larry kurtz

    great post, liz! your best sentence was the one you typed last.

  7. steve kelly

    Made for a 5-second tv commercial. “Hi, I’m Big Swede, I’m for Bigger Government, and I approved this message.”

    Ever consider throwing your hat in the ring? You’d be shoe-in — either party.

  8. lizard19

    I wanted this post to include a few other angles, like Tamiflu, Rumsfeld and Cheney and the link between CIA tactics to get Bin Laden and the polio crisis, but I didn’t have time.

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