Either Ebola can only be transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids or it’s far easier to contract. Health authorities need to make up their minds and make it clear to the public just what it is they’re doing when they run around monitoring people who had no contact with bodily fluids. If health officials are acting out of an “abundance of caution,” then say so and be consistent. If they aren’t truly sure how easy it is to contract Ebola but don’t want to incite a panic, then say they’re acting out of an “abundance of caution” and be consistent. If there’s truly nothing to worry about, then have the backbone to tell the public they know what they’re doing and the rest of us need to suck it up.
I know. They can’t do that. But wouldn’t it be refreshing?
Frankly, when someone tells me one thing and does another before changing what they’re telling me and then doing yet a different thing, it makes me worry. I’m happy to worry about the things I need to worry about, but I really hate to worry about something I don’t need to worry about. Just give me the plain scoop, tell me the plan, and follow through on the plan. If this is essentially like HIV except that the sick person will be vomiting and have diarrhea–which makes it easier to contract–then help me to understand what I need to do to protect myself from contact with surfaces that the person with Ebola has touched. Is it not a worry because it’s likely that the person was so sick they would not have been out in public to begin with? Or, is it enough that the person washed his/her hands? Or, is this a significant concern?
Oh. And given that the people at the CDC who create the protocols and guidelines do this full-time–and that the people at the World Health Organization also exist to look at these issues on a global scale– how about thinking about all the way things can go wrong before they happen! If that’s not your skill set, give me a call. I have a very active imagination and would be happy to help you brainstorm so we can get things right from the start.