“Entitlement” and Ebola: A Deadly Mix

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

Comments

  1. Charlie G says:

    I work at an airport. I keep waiting for information about how long the virus lives outside a host and how long it will survive on surfaces before it dies. I had heard that it dies quickly but then I heard that someone contracted it when they were cleaning a car that an infected person had been in.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Charlie G
      As you mentioned, there is conflicting info about how long the Ebola virus can live on surfaces. Ebola hasn’t been studied sufficiently, and this outbreak specifically. Because the bleeding seen with previous outbreaks isn’t always present with this outbreak, it’s possible it may be a mutated strain.

  2. RIVERWYLD says:

    The double gloves are not for having two layers of protection that the bug has to travel through. It is so that you can remove the contaminated outer layer and continue to de-gown with the still clean inner pair. 3 pairs might be a good idea depending on how your outer PPE is designed.
    A couple of products to consider keeping on hand for an epidemic is Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) available from miraclemineral.org/ and colloidal silver. The highest concentrate I have seen comes from International Pharmaceutical at www.invive.com or www.coloidalsilverusa.com You likely will need a high concentrate to overcome a bug like this. Their site is very informative and they have concentrates of over 10,000 ppm.
    Always Looking Forward
    Riverwyld

  3. Don’t bet on it!!

  4. Short follow=up to removing contaminated clothing.
    Plan on how to dress in order to make removal safe and easy. If you wrap masking tape around the glove cuffs for a better seal, leave a folded tab of tape to grip easily with your gloved hands. Put items on with the idea of getting them off easily.
    Best wished to all,
    Sam

  5. Thanks to David and Deva and all who add comments.
    Consider, if you might come into contact with any highly-infectious disease (Ebola is big right now), WHY double gloves and extra clothing are used. When you are done with protective clothing, you still have to remove it safely. AND you need to contain it in something, such as double plastic bags, labeled with a warning.
    As you remove protective clothing that could be contaminated, consider how to go about the task. Double gloves and double outer garments give you an extra chance to remain safe. First, carefully begin to open a garment or peel down the cuff of a glove by avoiding the outer surfaces as much as possible. Try to determine which article is potentially the most contaminated, and remove that first. Gloves are usually the first thing to remove because we tend to touch first with our hands. You don’t want to keep the gloves on as you remove inner clothing because you might touch your skin. So first scenario, remove the outer gloves, and avoid touching their outer surface as much as possible. Roll down the cuff a little and then grip the inner surface to pull the glove off, perhaps by rolling it inside out as you go. Don’t blow into the glove to puff it up, you might spread loose or dusty contaminants. With the “clean” inner gloves, remove the first layer of outer garments by getting under the outer surface and gripping the cleaner inner surface to pull things off, perhaps turning them inside out as you go.
    Put each thing into the trash bag slowly and carefully, without raising dust or causing a puff of air to blow contamination around. When you have the first layer off, keep the gloves long enough to create gripping areas where you can pull by touching inner surfaces. If you think the inner gloves are relatively clean, keep them on until everything else is off. If the gloves need to go first, touch the remaining items by pinching inner surfaces. You might be able to turn gloves inside out (fully or partly) and continue to use them to touch other items.
    This type of dressing and undressing with contaminated (potentially, if not for sure) clothing takes practice. Try your regular undressing routine as if your clothing is contaminated and see how you do.
    Think beforehand about what you need to do and why. Use common sense to avoid leaving any contamination that you might touch later. Perhaps, if you have the chance to organize ahead of time, you can have a plastic sheet to stand on while removing contaminated garments. At the end, slowly and carefully fold up that sheet and put it also into the trash bags. Hardware stores sell cheap paint drop cloths in the form of very thin plastic sheeting. These would be good to have if you plan to care for sick family members, etc.

  6. I work in a public place every time some one gets ill the sky is falling. I respect Ebola as I respect a black widow or rattlesnake. The government has long hidden it’s true nature behind benevolence thus many people don’t fear it. I think soon Ebola will be one spoke in the web the government uses to snare us.

  7. Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

    Thank you for the up date on this health issues. I am wondering can Ebola piggy back on another virus say maybe flu or a cold and be harder to detect?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Joseph,
      Good question. I searched for an answer, but can’t find any information. Perhaps on of the readers with medical training could clarify.

    • It depends on what you mean by piggyback.

      The flu almost never kills anyone (including the 1918 flu pandemic). Normally, people who die from the flu really get a weakened immune system from the flu, contract a secondary disease (like pneumonia) and die from pneumonia. For the victims and their families, it’s semantics. For everyone else, it’s important.

      In the same way that people can more easily catch and die of pneumonia when their immune system is weakened from fighting the flu, people who are exposed to the Ebola virus are more likely to have it take hold in their system when they have a weakened immune system.

      As of now, I don’t know of any designer Ebola viruses that effectively combine Ebola with another bacterial or viral infections.

  8. Here’s the link to the NYC cops tossing their (potentially) Ebola-laden equipment in the open trash. www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/10/24/cops-filmed-near-where-nyc-ebola-patient-lived-but-can-you-spot-what-they-did-thats-drawing-criticism/

    • Survival Diva says:

      Bob R & James,

      Thank you both for the heads-up on this new Ebola case. Based on the New York police throwing ANYTHING in an open trash bin that could have come into contact with the virus could mean they have not been trained. If they weren’t aware about safe waste disposal, I wonder if they had any training on how to safely remove their gloves? In the photos, it’s clear they were not wearing personal protection gear. The masks they were wearing is insufficient protection. It’s doubtful they were double-gloved.

  9. And then there is the case of the physician in New York City who was diagnosed as Ebola positive last night. He had worked in West Africa with Ebola patients, and came back to the US just a week ago, feeling fine. Until two days ago, when he started feeling poorly (details not given on TV last night). Nevertheless, AFTER he started not feeling good, he traveled on the NYC subway, went to a major park, and went bowling with friends! How many people might he potentially have infected during these two days? What about contaminating, for example, the bowling balls? Any towel he used to wipe his hands? Did he bring his own bowling shoes, or did he rent them? He was living with his girlfriend/fiancee. Did they have unprotected sex after his arrival? Is she now infected? And the list goes on.

    One thing that really bothered me listening to last night’s news was the emphasis, over and over again, from NYC mayor Bill DeBlassio, that “…it is very, very hard to transmit the disease….” He repeated that at least 3 times. If it’s so hard to get the disease, how did this physician, who knew exactly how (we think) the virus is transmitted, get infected?

    As for how this may affect travel, let’s see what the reaction is of NY residents. So far, it has not affected my travel decisions, but then again, I have not had the occasion to use public transportation since Ebola raised its ugly head again. For upcoming travel, I’m keeping my options open.

    OMG! My wife just showed me video on Facebook, apparently from Fox and Friends TV, where two NYC police walked out of this physician’s apartment, walked over to an OPEN, public trash can on the sidewalk by their parked squad car, took off their face masks and tossed them, along with what appeared to be yellow gown-like garments, into the trash can with their bare, unprotected hands. How stupid can you get! This can is open to the public. Anyone can shove stuff in it. Will this dislodge and disperse any virus particles that may (emphasize uncertainty here) land on others passing by? What about the cops? What about those who will empty the trash can? And anyone else handling whatever was in the can?

    I can only shake my head in disbelief.

    • Sorry Bob, there is no such thing as protected sex with ebola. Assuming skin to skin contact and kissing are involved. Ebola is present in sweat and saliva. A condom won’t hurt but I wouldn’t want to count on it.

      On a similar vein, hand shaking should be on its way out and the paper towel we dry our hands with at a public restroom should be used to open the door.

      • Caribou;

        Your points are well made. Thanks for these clarifications/corrections. However, I will still shake hands until Ebola or another nasty bug makes it to my part of the country. Then it’ll become a wave of the hand.

  10. Even with previous administrations, I have had a fair amount of skepticism. However, with the propensity of this administration to hide the truth, mislead the public and outright lie repeatedly (“If you like your doctor …”) the only trust I have is that they will continue to do the same. And as the crises get worse, I expect the lies to become bolder.

    To all of the writers who are sharing their how to prepare knowledge, I say “Thank you. And God bless you.”

  11. Now a doctor in New York has ebola and while he had a fever he went jogging and went bowling. They said basically he sneaked back into the country after being in an ebola stricken country. Gee Obama what could go wrong on a no travel ban and relying on the honesty of people? I am so glad that cop in Ferguson has been vindicated to the point even Obama and Holder can do nothing.

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