Fear is perhaps the first thing people think of when they hear the word “Ebola.” Fear, because we know so little about this disease and because, for that same reason, there is a belief that this could be a pandemic as far-reaching as the 14th-century bubonic plague, which killed between 70 and 200 million people.

Fear has reached such an extreme in the U.S. that state governors in New York and New Jersey have decided to quarantine anyone returning from one of the three countries most affected by the disease: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

The governors of Illinois and Florida have threatened to resort to similar measures.

And yet Bruce Aylward, from the World Health Organization, has warned that quarantines and travel restrictions on infected countries tend to cause the disease to spread, rather than improving health and security. The more complicated traveling and trade becomes, the more difficult it will be to come up with an adequate response.

Aylward’s statements make sense because without health workers, nurses and doctors who are willing to help patients in West Africa, Ebola will become much more difficult to contain.

When SARS appeared in Asia in 2003, one of the lessons learned from this epidemic, which at the time was also an unknown disease and caused many fearful reactions, was that the absurd measures taken for those traveling did not have positive results.

In Hong Kong, infrared scanners and thermometers were used to take the temperature of the more than 36 million tourists who arrived at their airports. Of these, there were 1,921 cases of elevated temperature, and 40 were taken to hospitals, but none of them even had SARS!!!

Just imagine the long lines and the time lost, which obviously result in a loss of resources, and all because of a security measure like this one. You’d think this would have been a good enough lesson so that now, with the Ebola scare, a better solution to control the situation would be sought out — more effective measures and fewer of them.

Yet, that is the battle raging in the U.S. between the Obama administration and state governors seeking to control this disease through quarantines. What is clear is that we need many more resources being invested in researching the disease and the creation of a vaccine.

In the meantime, we need more heroes — heroes because I see no other way to put it — like the nurses and doctors treating Ebola patients, trying their best to help the sick until the cure arrives.

Politics, it seems, even plays a role in things like this. Obama and the Democrats must be worried about the arrival of this disease, which for now has encroached on two cities, Dallas and New York, only a week before the midterm elections.

The situation was complicated even before this, as the Democrats attempt to keep control of the Senate. Now, polls are showing that fear on issues like the government’s helplessness to manage the Ebola crisis is what is leaving 64 percent of Americans feeling that the country is out of control.

Let’s see how this affects Obama and the Democrats.

Note: The U.S. has shown concern and has issued warnings on its border with Mexico, fearing that a terrorist wanting to avenge the Islamic State might come through our country.

Last week, Islamists attacked the West in Canada (Montreal and Ottawa).

In Ottawa, the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, had to hide in a closet in parliament.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply