This ebola thing has had many of us scratching our heads. Not sure if we are confused, frustrated, angry, all the above, or something else, but we are at best not happy with the official response.
With the recent news that the administration is considering imposing some limited quarantines upon medical personnel returning from Africa, I am definitely at the anger stage. Yeah, we are said to be afraid, acting irrationally because of fear and all sorts of other ridiculous things, but anger accurately describes my reaction to the continuing cluelessness of those whose job it is to protect us from such things as infectious disease. There are, as seems usual, several levels of points being missed, by a whole lot of folks and agencies, for whatever reasons.
One is that an emergency plan is something developed long before a crisis occurs. It’s why we have police standing by to respond to an armed robbery instead of rounding up folks to respond after the armed robbery occurred. Same with any sort of medical and/or civil emergency. In the military it is often called Contingency Planning because plans are formulated to address the maximum number of possibilities.
When the emergency occurs, you implement the appropriate plan. Even Americans who cannot articulate why this mess is so disturbing have an understanding somewhere in their gut that either there was no plan for an ebola type emergency or that previously developed plans are being ignored. Either way, ordinary Americans are reacting to what is perceived as betrayal by those who are supposed to be dealing with this.
Another important point is that this is what happens after decades of encouraging Americans to expect others/government to think for them. Regulations are so complex that local hospitals (and every other business) are now unable to operate without a stamp of approval from some bureaucrat. The end result is that everything is someone else’s job, and ultimately there is collective impotence.
The weight of bureaucracy is what brought down the Soviet Union. Sure feels like we reached that level here as well.
Pardon us as we see this “plan” to “consider” options in dealing with ebola as just plain stupid. Infectious disease is not something new. Health departments around the country have dealt with it for not just decades but hundreds of years.
This really is not as difficult as it is being portrayed. Of course, to do what needs to be done might just threaten their political agenda, so the lies and obfuscation continue. Too bad that those in charge simply feel no responsibility for while having no apparent interest in simply doing their jobs.
And, it seriously angers me that members of the US military are apparently considered so expendable that they are being sent into the epicenter of this infectious disease to do something. It’s also too bad that there is no clear reason given about why they are going. It is variously said that they are to build stuff, or maybe to treat patients, or not. Whatever the ever evolving explanation is, it’s not particularly satisfying.