Welcome to this week’s newsletter, brought to you by the Social Chaos Survival Guide, which goes into detail about how to get home (or get away from home) in a riot, mob, or other breakdown situation like what many are expecting to result from the Michael Brown verdict in Ferguson, or what might happen if more Ebola cases pop up. Learn more now by going >HERE<
Today, housing, food, and health care is free for the taking, just as long as one remains gainfully unemployed. It’s become ingrained in our culture to expect help at every juncture, but at what cost?
We saw a preview of what “entitlement” can bring within minutes of a food stamp glitch that occurred on October 2013 when word got out that a power outage had lifted the caps on EBT (food stamps) cards. The result? Walmart Shelves Emptied in Food Stamp Shopping Spree. Good Morning America reporter Susanna Kim related that police had to be called when food stamp recipients stripped shelves bare, filling carts to overflowing with more food than what most could possibly store in cupboards and refrigerators. One employee described it as worse than Black Friday, “I saw people drag out eight to ten carts.”
“There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated.”
The melee stopped abruptly when a Walmart employee made an announcement on the intercom saying that the computer system had been restored and card limits were returned. At that time, customers left shopping carts full of food in store isles.
We should pay close attention to this because now the stakes of entitlement are much greater than greed. This time, it doesn’t involve the theft of food snatched from the shelves of a couple of Walmart stores. This time, entitlement has the potential to endanger us all, and take the economy with it.
Right now, the government is working double-time to assure the public that we have nothing to fear while thousands of people flee the hot zones of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It appears entitlement reaches far beyond our borders and it is revered above common sense or the welfare of the populace.
As of October, 14th, the CDC reports 9,216 cases of Ebola and 4,555 deaths, although people in the front lines fighting Ebola report much higher numbers. On the CDC states, “Numbers are lower than actual laboratory confirmed cases and deaths because stratified data are temporarily unavailable for Liberia.” The reason for the lack of data was not given as Ebola rages.
(David’s note: As with any disease, there are active efforts made by local leaders to control media spin. As an example, the 2009 H1N1 Flu virus was originally named the “Mexican Flu” but political pressure changed the name to “Swine Flu” much to the disdain of hog farmers.
Numbers are lower than reality for a few reasons that we know of. Active suppression, an overwhelmed medical infrastructure with more important things to do than fill out paperwork, and no reporting mechanisms in place at all for people who suffer and die at home and who’s relatives keep quiet lest they’re labeled.)
On September 23, CNN World reporters Laura Smith-Spark, Miriam Falco, and Jen Christiansen Report CDC: Ebola cases could reach at least 555,000 by January. The following is an excerpt:
The number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could rise to between 550,000 and 1.4 million by January if there are no “additional interventions or changes in community behavior,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Tuesday. The estimate was derived from a new forecasting tool developed by the CDC.
The range of estimated cases — from 550,000 to 1.4 million — is wide because experts suspect the current count is highly under-reported. The official death toll from Ebola in West Africa has climbed to more than 2,800 in six months, with 5,800 cases confirmed as of Monday, the World Health Organization said.
In the meantime, we are told not to worry because airports are screening for Ebola symptoms. We’re told that the U.S. couldn’t humanely halt the travel to and from the stricken areas because it would negatively impact aid arriving to these areas. And about that aid. . . how is it possible that U.S. troops deployed to battle Ebola in West Africa WON’T be equipped with Hazmat suits and are given only four-hour Ebola training before heading to W Africa? We’re also being told that the CDC is on top of things. . . that the spread of Ebola will not happen on our soil.
Should we then ignore the obvious?
Other than perpetuating the entitlement of entering the U.S. at will, which has already opened Pandora’s box for disease to cross our boarder’s, daily, what other possible reasoning could there be to allow American’s to be exposed to Ebola and the possibility of shredding our flagging economy?
The first promise we were told, that airports are screening for anyone who may be infected by Ebola is disingenuous, at best. On October 9, HLN Morning Express reported the following story: Ebola reporter ‘Horrified’ by airport screening. The following is an excerpt:
- CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen recently came through screening after a trip to Liberia
- She says agent told her to be on the lookout for signs of Ebola, but could not tell her what they were
Cohen tells HLN’s Robin Meade that she and her crew were “shocked” by the lack of screening they received when coming back through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Screening For Ebola Won’t Work
The point is, no matter how carefully passengers arriving from hot zones are screened, it will not stop the spread of Ebola in the U.S. The health care system in West Africa was never excellent. Now it is broken. Consider the plight of anyone that has been exposed to the virus. Based upon a report on October 14 released by ABC Eyewitness News the WHO stated the death rate for Ebola has been denigrated from 50% to 70%. Anyone able to afford a ticket who hasn’t made selflessness the centerpiece of their lives would likely choose to fly to the U.S., or Europe, or another developed country for medical treatment.
If they are already exhibiting early onset Ebola symptoms, such as a low-grade fever, all it takes is to pop a couple of Advil, get past the screening process, and they’re good to go.
In the meantime, our health care personnel are left to figure out how to protect themselves while training and advice on the correct PPE (personal protection equipment) is still being figured out by the CDC. Apparently the $6.6 billion budget the CDC receives is not sufficient to protect our healthcare personnel or the American people.
Because of the previous protocol for Personal Protection Equipment and the complete lack of training on CDC’s part on protocal to avoid becoming infected, two Dallas nurses are now battling Ebola.
On October 21, USA Today reporter Liz Szabo wrote: CDC issues new rules for protecting workers from Ebola. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Hospital workers treating Ebola patients should wear double sets of gloves, disposable hoods with full face shields and special masks, according to strengthened guidelines issued Monday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The guidelines focus on personal protective equipment, or PPE, giving hospitals and clinics more specific instructions about gloves, gowns and face masks, and how they should be put on and taken off.
Nurses and other medical professionals have expressed concern that they are unprepared and unprotected when treating patients suspected of having Ebola. Nurses have complained that they were sent into the room of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the USA, with the skin of their necks exposed. Two nurses who treated Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas became infected with the virus and are now hospitalized.
The question is, will the upgrades to PPE the CDC released be enough to improve their image and gain back public trust?
The CDC’s responsibility over the lack of monitoring Amber Joy Vinson, the second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola may continue to be a sore spot.
On October 16 ABC via Good Morning America reported in an article : Dallas Nurse Told The CDC She Would Be Flying
A Dallas nurse who treated an Ebola patient contacted federal health officials before boarding a passenger flight Monday due to a slightly elevated temperature, but was allowed to board the flight because she was not exhibiting additional symptoms of Ebola, ABC News has learned.
Amber Vinson’s temperature was 99.5 degrees – below the 100.4 reading for a fever, according to a federal official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fever is one of the symptoms of Ebola. Other symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. She was not asked to avoid boarding the flight.
Later in the article:
“The patient was not showing any other symptoms while on board the plane – no vomiting or diarrhea. The only symptom Amber was showing was the fever,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told ABC News.
From what the public has been told, a person infected with Ebola is not contagious until they show symptoms. A fever is one of those symptoms. Yes, blood, vomit, and feces carry the disease. But so does the sweat of someone infected with Ebola. It was not said whether Vinson’s symptoms included a cough or sneezing, but although Ebola is not considered airborne, particulates in the air can be.
So what has been done to protect those who were on the flights with this second nurse to contract the Ebola virus?
Following the diagnosis, the airline and other organizations are taking extra precautions. Frontier Airlines placed six crew members – two pilots and four flight attendants – on paid leave for 21 days “out of an abundance of caution,” CEO David Siegel said in a statement.
“This was over and above CDC guidance that stated that our flight crews were safe to fly,” Siegel said.
The jet that carried Vinson and 131 others to Texas is in a hanger in Denver, the airline said, ready for its fourth cleaning. The plane’s seat covers and carpet were removed around the area where Vinson was sitting, and the environmental filters were replaced, the airline said. Cleanings were also scheduled at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Additionally, Ebola screenings begin today (16Oct) at four new airports: Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Extra precautions are also being taken for people who shared flights with Vinson. Three Texas schools – North Belton Middle School, Sparta Elementary and the Belton Early Childhood School – will be closed today (16Oct) after two students were on Flight 1143 Tuesday, school officials announced.
Two Cleveland schools, Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary School, will also be closed today (16Oct). A staff member there flew on a Frontier Airline plane that may have carried Vinson to Texas the previous day, school officials said.
Employees from the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth on an Oct. 10 flight with Vinson were placed on paid leave.
Additionally, the military advised a Texas family to remain in isolation for 21 days – the length of time it could take for symptoms to appear – after a military member stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Ft. Worth, Texas traveled on the same Frontier Airlines flight as Vinson.
“No members of this local family are exhibiting any symptoms and are being isolated purely as a precautionary measure,” authorities with the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District, where one of the family members is a student, said in a statement.
So far it appears that the entitlement of travel to the U.S. has led to two Dallas nurses contracting Ebola while the situation continues to threatened our welfare, and it has caused school closures.
Is that the worst of it, or is the nation headed for an economic tsunami if if our elected officials don’t get their act together?
Already the travel industry is feeling the heat.
Almost back-to-back, Carnival Cruise Lines and the arline industry have taken hits with regard to the public’s trust. As described in an October 17 L.A. Times article, With Ebola scare, travel industry hits rough patch, written by Hugo Martin. Here’s an excerpt:
“With a series of embarrassing accidents in its wake, the $37.1-billion cruise industry was looking forward to a strong booking season this winter. Instead, cruise operators are facing the same crisis that has shaken the airline industry: Ebola.
Mexican authorities Friday blocked a Carnival cruise ship from docking in Cozumel after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted Carnival Corp. that a passenger may have handled Ebola-contaminated lab specimens at the Texas hospital where a Liberian man died.”
A recent October 20 KATV article, Survey shows Ebola Scare is Affecting Travelers reports the CEO of Unicomm, the nations largest travel show company, urged the U.S. government to restrict travel from Ebola restricted countries.
Based upon the survey of 6,200 active travelers in 6 metropolitan markets regarding the impact of current Ebola occurrences as they relate to their travel plans and their overall outlook regarding the U.S. travel system, 40% of active travelers will likely limit travel outside the USA in the next 30 days with over 12% stating they will not travel internationally due to Ebola concerns.
USA Today on October 16 headlines that Market indexes dive but pare earlier big loses.
The Fault? ISIS and Ebola, which led to the following:
Airline stocks were roiled by the prospects of curtailed travel due to the spreading Ebola virus, although they bounced back from early loses of 5% or more. United Continental fell 1.4% and American Airlines ended 0.5%.
How much longer will our economy hold if people pull the plug on travel, and crowded places like malls, restaurants, sports events, movie houses, and concerts? The stock market is already begining to feel the sting and unless the “entitlement” of travel to and from the hot zones of West Africa is stopped, we could well be witnessing why extending entitlements of a few ahead of the many is not healthy for the population or the economy.
Have you avoided travel, crowded shopping malls, or entertainment venues while the uncertainty of Ebola in the U.S. remains? Would you give the CDC and our leadership a passing grade for their handling of Ebola in America?
(Ox’s note: I’m on a plane flying from one coast to the other on a airline WiFi connection as I add this note to meet my wife and kids who have been traveling up and down the East coast for the last week. The situation right now reminds me of FDR’s famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It would suck to get Ebola, but 3 cases in a country of 300+ million isn’t exactly an epidemic.
And, while I agree that it’s smart to prepare for a pandemic, it’s MORE important to prepare for widespread cases of large groups of people making poor judgements based on panic. I’m not sure what will have happened in Ferguson by the time you read this, but I’d guess that more people will be injured and possibly even die as a direct result of reactions to the Michael Brown case than from Ebola in the next few weeks.)
On that note, if you haven’t checked out the Social Chaos Survival Guide, I want to encourage you to do so. It goes into detail about how to get home (or get away from home) in a riot, mob, or other breakdown situation like what many are expecting to result from the Michael Brown verdict in Ferguson or if more Ebola cases pop up. Learn more by going>HERE< now.
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva