Ebola – Should Have Kept Those Damn Gloves On(Part 5)

Mass Murderer?

Mass Murderer?

Perhaps, if we all survive the many threats to our modern survival as a species, we will eventually have predictive models that use the momentum of words written all over the world to somewhat know the future and act accordingly.  Until then, we are left with the wise words of any great combatant that ever lived,”Always overestimate your opponent.”

Before going any further in this article, I want to personally note that Thomas Eric Duncan could turn out to be the most horrible man in the history of the world through total neglect of his potential impact on humanity.  If Ebola breaks out in the United States and is unchecked for many months there could be global economic disaster.  He was unwilling to sacrifice his investment in an airline ticket to see his relatives in Texas while being willing to spread what he had seen first hand as the worst virus we have faced since the dark ages.

How do we sift through the mountains of information and come to some conclusion that allows us as a population to act appropriately?  First, we have acted too late, sitting in the twin towers because others were sitting in the twin towers, unwilling to raise the alarm.  We start by overestimating our opponent, Ebola.

“The virus behind this outbreak made the jump to humans late last year, in Guinea. The key event in the spread to Sierra Leone was the funeral of a faith healer who claimed to be able to cure Ebola patients. When she contracted Ebola and died in late May, a large number of people attended her funeral.

Twelve of the first Ebola cases in Sierra Leone all attended that funeral, and appear to have contracted the virus there. These include two distinct forms of the virus which diverged, in Guinea, in late April.” – Rob Brooks (2 September 2014, 3.21am BST)

How does one go about overestimating an opponent?  We start by analyzing their strengths and our weaknesses.

Ebola’s four greatest strengths are:

  1. It can appear like any other virus in the beginning with aches and a runny nose
  2. It has a 7 to 21 day gestation period
  3. It is a new strain of Ebola, mutating rapidly, in a highly diverse DNA portfolio
  4. It is lethal in at least 40% of all cases

Our greatest weaknesses are:

  1. Arrogance
  2. Less than timely action
  3. Fear of loss based reactions, i.e. loss of money, loss of power, loss of credibility
  4. Protocol based behavior, i.e. we do what we have always done

How to mitigate the strengths of our opponent?

It can appear like any other virus in the beginning with aches and a runny nose

The result of this will be many false positives, people believing they have Ebola when they do not.  The consequence of this in conjunction with our protocol based behavior is that we will flock to Hospitals, ERs, and Day Clinics and sit in rooms waiting to be told if we have Ebola.  Some of the people in the room will have Ebola setting up a quarantine situation that is untenable.  Where will we house all these people in quarantine?

We should set up community clinics outside in wide open spaces with tables spread far apart with medical personnel dressed appropriately to avoid both airborne and fluid contact.  If chairs are used for the waiting patients they should be set very far apart and signs should be posted asking them to avoid contact with others.  If there are ketones specific to patients with Ebola sensors should be manufactured that can provide a first data check on whether to test blood samples.  The new blood test system that Elizabeth Holmes invented should be used in all cases to avoid transport and possible testing issues.

It has a 7 to 21 day gestation period

Because the greatest risk to our communities is based on rapid transportation’s ability to move the virus throughout the country in days rather than years it is important to quarantine cities after a very small number of infected individuals have been found in a city.  This means no travel out of the city for 21 days after identification has occurred.

It is a new strain of Ebola, mutating rapidly, in a highly diverse DNA portfolio 

We must assume the the virus can become airborne whether it currently is or not.  All of us acting with a respect for personal space and making sure neither our air, spit, or body liquids touch others is a good policy during this time.  Advising that the virus is not airborne is a huge mistake.

It is lethal in at least 40% of all cases

A 40% death rate is very conservative.  In fact, it has attained a 90% death rate when conditions favor the virus.  What are those conditions?

  1. Religious ceremonies conducted taking a priority over safety
  2. The cleanliness of the environment
  3. The respect given to the potential of infecting others

How do we address our weaknesses? 

Before you believe you have this fight won, prepare for the fight and believe it is lost unless you have your best fight ever.  If you think you have Ebola, immediately get checked and avoid contact with others.  Act immediately as an individual, as a community, as a nation to be safe.  Fear of the loss of our culture should take precedence over money, time, and power.  Be safe.

Grateful 4/21/2012

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I am grateful to see the gentle touch of a friends hand on their friend’s shoulder.

I am grateful for the loud sound of voices in a restaurant.

I am grateful for the uphill ride to an unknown destination.

I am grateful for the opportunity to smile at a face in despair.

I am grateful for the pain in my back, the strength on my limbs, and the feeling that comes with heeling.

I am grateful for dances in the park.

I am grateful for a group of happy women who see humor everywhere they look in the world.

As always, I an hatful for the infinite beauty that surrounds me.

Grateful 4/8/2012 – OK So you think you had a bad day

Yeah, we all think it, “What a day?” Really.  Didn’t you wake up?  Ok, so there was a little pain.  Big deal.  Your morning started by opening the refrigerator door to get cream when a glass jar of spagetti sauce tumbled to the floor spattering  tomato sauce and glass across the kitchen.  The dog rushed into the kitchen, ran through the sauce onto the white rug.  So big deal.  Your daughter heard the noise, pattered into kitchen and cut her foot on the shards that had spread to the furthest edges of the universe.  Damn.  Life sucks.  Really.  Really.  You fix the cut, pick up the shards, mop the floor, take the trash out and the garage door breaks.  Really.  Your husband calls from workout and says he’s having breakfast with his friends.  You were looking forward to going for a walk with the dog with him.  Really.  But then, you go for the walk and the dog is very happy.  As you go out the door the sun warms your skin and a quite breeze strikes your face.  The grass has greened over night.  The fresh odor of  grass and flowers strikes your nose.  The sound of children laughing wafts into your hearing.  The tinkling from wind chimes stirs your heart to the first time you met your husband.  The dog looks at you with true love.

  • I am grateful for the pain in my life
  • I am grateful for the emotional pain I have suffered
  • I am grateful for the disabilities that have taught me to overcome
  • I am grateful for the realization that I will not live forever
  • I am grateful for those I resent because they teach me to understand
  • I am grateful for those who are less fortunate because I see their love of life in their eyes
  • I am grateful for belief systems that allow many to view the world in wonder
  • I am grateful for the threats that keep my skills sharp
  • I am grateful for my loves
  • I am grateful for my children
  • I am grateful for strength
  • I am grateful for power
  • I am grateful for weakness

I am grateful for what is and will always love life in the diversity of experience it provides us.

Grateful 3/12/2012

  • I am extremely grateful for cherry trees and pink flowers in the sun
  • I am grateful for a wonderful mother
  • I am grateful for a world blessed with technology
  • I am grateful for hardship because it makes us stronger
  • I am grateful for the strength of my body and the intellect I was born with
  • I am grateful for the random people I meet each day
  • I am really grateful for my wonderful wife