Friday, October 17, 2014

Confessions of a Germophobe: Ebola was in my airspace.

I live in Ohio.  I live in Northeast Ohio.  While I won't divulge my exact locale, I will tell you that my region is under the Ebola Scare due to the second nurse's visit to our corner of the state.

At this point I should tell you, I did not visit with her.  I do not know her.  I wish her well and pray that she heals and that her family and this ENTIRE community is kept safe from the scourge that is Ebola.

It is now that I start on my rant.  I'm probably saying nothing new.  First, my parents live less than a mile from her family home.  My father had a fit.  That isn't going to transmit Ebola to my parents, but it is a bit unsettling to think that it was that close.

The amount of information, conflicting and readjusted information is getting to the point where I almost can't stand to know anymore.  Let me start with today's revelation.  She felt tired and "funny" on her visit to Ohio?  Really?  So you are feeling a little punky and while that wouldn't normally be reason for concern other than figuring that you are coming down with something, she just cared for (heroically, I might add) a gentleman who arrived in our country, came to the hospital for care and passed away as a result of the heinous disease that he contracted before his time here in America.  Hmmm.  He had a horrible disease that he brought from a 3rd world nation.  That disease is killing 70% of the people who get it.  Could it be Ebola?  :insert sarcastic face:

I would never wish Ebola on anyone.  I feel horribly that the healthcare workers who did their best to provide care for this gentleman contracted it.  However (and this is a big however) if I had been caring for someone in his state and under such stringent biohazard needs, I would probably have-- let me state this as clearly as possible-- stayed home to monitor my health and well-being rather than go on a commercial airliner, TWICE!

Yes, I realize that she had permission.  Those people who gave her permission were clearly smoking crack.

We're talking common sense here.

This story is not really at all relatable, but it is the only relatable tale I have.  Let's keep it that way, yes?  When my people have something such as the stomach virus or even when Hubs had rotavirus, we treated the house as if a hazmat tent had dropped overtop and no one was permitted in.  No one was permitted out.  When Hubs had rotavirus, K and I steered clear of the bathroom, utilized the camping loo that we have, took sponge baths and all because until he was done, the bathroom was off limits.  (We're a one bathroom house and we made do with what we had.)  I then suited up, covering my face, and bleached the entire bathroom down.  It took an hour and a half and you know what?  Though K had it and was over it by the time we got back home from Chicago (oh yes, fun filled weekend it was) I didn't get it.  Still, we hung out until it seemed all was clear.  We returned to normal lives, but we had waited.

My point is not to say that the nurses weren't careful because I'm sure that they were and they worked with what they had.  My problem is that the nurse didn't have the common sense kick in to say that since she was still in the time of self-monitoring, she should have stayed home.  We have someone floating on a cruise ship with God knows how many passengers.  They are self-quarantined.  I think that is great that they are doing that, but WHY are they on the boat to begin with?

I understand that the CDC hasn't been all on top of it.  The WHO has also claimed responsibility in not tending to things as they should.  President Obama today appointed an Ebola Czar.  I'm not starting a political debate because that is not where I want to go and I have turned comments off to avoid backlash over the post in general, but why would you appoint a lawyer as a czar over a deadly disease situation in your country?  I'm sure that we have more than enough and willing medical professionals who could have filled that position.  I am democrat and proud to say that I am blue through and through.  :shakes of the head:  I just don't get that one.

We have a well-known bridal store in our area-- a mom and pop-- that is closed for right now.  Having worked in the bridal industry for years of my life, I know that October is like June.  Busy with brides getting married and homecoming.  You also have brides for other weddings, but it is a big, busy month.  How exactly are they going to be compensated for their loss of business?  Will people trust their business?

You have many workers that are off of their jobs-- with pay-- from companies such as the Cleveland Clinic, Metro Health, Aultman Hospital, teachers and at three schools, folks from an area utility  along with all of her bridesmaids, a few of their children and a husband.  Her stepfather can't leave the house.  Police are posted outside of their house.  Who is going to pay for the loss of money?  I know that a lot of the people are being paid their salary, but are they all being compensated?

Planes were decontaminated, but they are on a daily basis.  However, Cleveland Hopkins Airport was decontaminated.  3 schools were decontaminated.  I don't know what they'll do with the bridal store and the hundreds of thousands in merchandise that may be damaged in decontamination.  (They didn't say that would happen, but knowing the nature of the fabric and industry, I have to guess that is a concern.)

You have 7 flights of people that need to be tracked down.

In the industrialized world, disease knows no borders.  We can move too quickly.  Disease can, too.

We've had an all call from the school.  We've had e-mails from the superintendent.  We've gotten a letter with an Ebola need-to-know information sheet attached.

God bless, Dr. Kent Brantley.  He has donated blood to Ebola victims, but he only has so much blood.  When you have a virus, it knocks your immune system down for a bit, doesn't it?  How wonderful of him to be so selfless, but we can't drain him dry.  I'm certain that after this health crisis is over in their lives, the nurses would probably do the same if they could.

In sum and to clarify, I appreciate all of the work that these nurses did for Mr. Duncan.  They did everything that they knew to do.  I can say with certainty that they did everything that they could to protect themselves from Ebola.  My issue is with permissions to travel and the consideration to even travel given the gravity of what they had been dealing with and that self-monitoring hadn't been lifted.

I don't know what the answers are.  I wished we would have had the horses quite a bit of a distance ahead before this came to American soil.  We didn't and that is very sad given our nation's capabilities.  Could this be worse?  Absolutely.  Let's hope that it doesn't get to that.  In NE Ohio, I'm hoping that we all get to Election Day (and beyond) Ebola free.