Saturday, August 2, 2014

Joy, Fear, and Ebola

Earlier today, I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement when I saw Kent Brantly gingerly step out of that ambulance and walk into Emory University Hospital.  My fist pumped into the air, and I shouted a happy “Yeah!” to my wife.  I have had my faith renewed as I have watched the events unfold this week.  Maybe I’ll let some more time go by, and then I’ll attempt to explain that renewal more fully.  But, right now, I want to touch on the opposite.  Fear.

You see, I’ve also seen today a number of social media posts from regular folks who are at a minimum nervous, and at the extreme, actually quite scared.

And, who can blame them?  Consider the popular written fiction, TV series, and theatrical movie themes that create and project far out stories about a virus gone wild:  Resident Evil, Dawn of the Dead, The Walking Dead, etc.  Then, you add to that the wacked-out conspiracy theorists and the fringe, hype-media specialists.  Frankly, people are fed meal after meal of misinformation, half-truths, and extreme fictional scenarios.

If you are one of those folks who feels this fear, let me give you a suggestion that may help.  If you will follow it, I think you find yourself breathing easier, and your mind will be at rest.

Educate yourself.

Set aside the fiction of modern TV & theater, ignore the conspiracy theorists, skip the hype of the fringe media, and take the time to research and educate yourself on both the virus and the extreme steps taken to provide safety and precaution.

The virus is scary, but it is also not all that easily transmitted, especially in our modern world, and it can be killed with sterilization processes.  The transportation methods that carried Kent to Georgia utilized multiple layers of isolation to keep the infection contained, and eliminate any chance of exposure to the outside world.  Folks, you can take a good breath and relax.

Further, there is another piece of fiction being propagated by the media:  That Ebola has never been in the western hemisphere before.

That just isn’t true.

Kent Brantly may be the first PATIENT suffering from Ebola to be treated in the US, but the virus has been here for quite some time.  Laboratories are studying it for work on new vaccines.  Some time ago, the virus was acquired in Africa, and then transported to the United States using carefully controlled methods in order to do the research.  Here’s a link to a news story from the Houston, Texas news outlet KHOU about just such a lab: Galveston UTMB Lab Ebola Story

So, today, Kent himself was transported home using extremely careful and thought out methods, taking incredible steps to ensure everyone’s safety.  The virus is transmitted through contact with body fluids…not by air, and all conceivable precautions were taken to ensure that nothing could escape.

You may ask: Mike, how do you know all of this?  Well, simply put…I took the time to read legitimate articles, and I listened to legitimate interviews with real doctors and scientists.  Otherwise, left to the entertainment and fringe media meals, I’d be just as nervous as the next guy.

Friends, you are perfectly safe…from Ebola anyway.  And, Kent is HOME.  Where he should be…at least until he recovers enough to resume his selfless work in caring for others.  God willing.  And, let’s continue to pray that he does recover, because the world needs more people like Kent Brantly.

Keep praying.
Peace to all. 

#PrayForKent #PrayForNancy

1 comment:

  1. Needed to be said. Thank you for ssying it.

    When you were reading did you tag about the Restin Outbreaks? Interesting read.