According to the scientific and medical community Ebola is a virus that has the potential of wreaking havoc on the health landscape. It has far reaching possibilities for mutation (change) and replication (duplication) into something far more or less deadly. As at this time the scientific community has said there is no systematic cure but procedural treatment to arrest the symptoms. The medication assist for doing this is in very short supply and scarcely enough to address the potential of many infected people. This virus has a very high potential death rate and is known to kill 50-90% of those contracting the disease. EVD, by which Ebola is also known is a disease of humans and primates caused by the ebolavirus and was first identified in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo around 1976. A large outbreak is now upon these areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. There has been approximately 3,000 suspected cases resulting in the death of roughly 50% of its victims. The first case hitting America’s shores was diagnosed and confirmed in Texas and by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Having said this; the big question now is “How will America address this very severe virus that has the potential for a high percentage death rate. Is America ready for Ebola?
Money is the Objective
America has become a nation passionate about making more money and often with scant regard for how it reaches that goal. It seems not to care much if or about whom may lose the health fight in the process. The business of treating cancer is a multi-billion dollar undertaking and is getting larger by the day. Cancer having been so long with us leads one to believe there is no serious effort afoot to rid America of this health scourge. Only scant strides can be made because chemical producers are constantly coming up with new products that are harming both humans and the environment. When we reflect on the bioengineering of the food chain and the chemicals used in the process we must accept the fact that it is all about big business and big money. It has been voiced that if the financial rewards outweigh the cost of lives (if we can indeed assess such costs) then it is worth compromising our food supply chain. Medical care is a big business and greed is ingrained therein. Robo-callers by the hundreds are calling daily selling medical supplies that many don’t need and ripping off Medicare and Medicaid for the money. After you pass sixty-five they assume you need a hearing aid, a life alert or a stair lift. They’re all a bunch of medical hustlers. A case in point is about me taking my spouse to emergency for nose bleed that she gets from time to time. They were set to release her after a few hours until they found out she had good health insurance coverage. They kept her for three days at a cost somewhere above $26,000 dollars. Money fuels the treatment of health conditions. Will it also fuel the treatment of potential Ebola cases? The Ebola victim that turned up at the health facility in Dallas, Texas and sent home with a packet of antibiotic or a prescription therefor may be another case in point but a compromising one at that. Did he have evidence of health insurance coverage? If not, is that why he wasn’t kept for further observation, diagnosis and quarantine? It has been suggested that part of the fight against the spread of this disease is an infrastructure of containment. Is America ready to spend money to set aside large isolation wards for possible future Ebola cases? Will the medical facilities all across the expanse of this nation be willing to treat any patient showing signs and/or symptoms of having been exposed to the Ebola virus or will they just turn away infected patients who could potentially start a chain reaction in spreading this deadly virus? This virus is so potentially deadly that no leeway exist for “dropping the ball”. “Dropping the ball” is probably what happened in the first America case surfacing in Texas. When the chain of diligent protection against getting the virus is broken, a potential chain reaction forms and takes on a snowballing effect that could breed panic and heighten the possibilities of contracting the disease. Everyone within the health chain must be uncompromisingly diligent. Any error of mis-judgment, mis-assessment or bias could lead to dire consequences when it comes to Ebola. Will there be selective treatment based on one’s ability to pay through health insurance or will those potentially infected (and without the ability to pay) be turned away?
The Race Factor
America, aside from some countries and much like some others has its values in race and ethnicity in addition to greed. It is often quick to look at these factors and make determinations about who gets treatment for any particular ailment and how good the forthcoming treatment should be. It appears that some bias judgment assessment was made concerning the Ebola case turning up in Dallas. The exposed Ebola individual was sent home to co-reside with other individuals; potentially opening up the possibility for further Ebola exposure. Contaminated clothing and other materials were left in the surroundings for almost a week. Did anyone care-did it bother anyone? Mind you; these individuals were all individuals of color. Did that make any difference? Now there is a proposal afoot to move these individuals to an undisclosed location-but not a medical facility where quarantine procedures could be properly undertaken. Are they putting them in a neighborhood among their own peers or will they be moved to an apartment complex in an upscale white neighborhood? It appears that all of those who came back to America prior (after having been exposed to the Ebola virus) were Caucasian or other than people of color. They were all immediately admitted to a medical treatment facility; quarantined and procedures were began immediately to arrest the symptoms and stabilize the patient. They were monitored and kept until they reached the point whereby they were considered to be out of danger of death before being released. If these were not all individuals of a Caucasian ethnicity (if it indeed matters) I stand corrected. It seems to be possible the black Ebola infected individual could have lied on his application to leave his country and come to America. Could the medical facility that sent him home with antibiotic have known this to be so at the time they sent him away? Even if he did falsify his application would it not have been more expedient to admit him and quarantine him to keep from possibly infecting others? You don’t “cut off your nose to spite your face”. Having said this, the next point to be made is when it comes to this potentially extremely deadly virus (for which there is presently no cure) there is no room at all for selective racism. The Ebola virus chooses no respect of person and the infection transcends all color lines and ethnic backgrounds-white, black, brown or yellow. America is a country that still struggles with racial issues and seems not to be making great strides towards leaving that place. The recent incident in Ferguson, Missouri was beamed across the world and the president saw a need to touch on it in his speech to the United Nations assembly. Let us play devil’s advocate for a moment. Could that person of color showing up at the medical facility in Texas have been sent away because he was black and it wasn’t known for sure that he was an Ebola carrier and/or determined to have no viable health insurance coverage? I’m sure some blacks don’t have any and I’m just as sure some whites don’t either. When you turn away any potential Ebola carrier (black or other) you’re inviting what could potentially be devastating health consequences. There is absolutely no allowance for missteps when it comes to race or money in dealing with Ebola. That individual came to the health facility admitting feeling ill; having come from a country in West Africa and having taken a pregnant woman ill with the Ebola virus for medical treatment in Africa who eventually died. He was also on a journey that stopped off at two connecting points before finally landing in Texas. Was not that enough to arouse suspicion of the disease and quarantine the individual for observation for at least a few days? It was suggested there may have been a communications breakdown in the process of assessing the Ebola infected individual. What was the communications breakdown? Was it language; was it financial or was it symptoms assessment? Someone speaking for the Texas medical facility suggested there was a communications breakdown between the nurse imputing data and the computer analyzing it. The thing that seems to be spinning now is the ball that eventually got dropped. Because of this, concern and anxiety is all over the landscape. It is suggested that the Ebola carrier interacted with at least twelve individuals subsequent to reaching the shores of America. Who knows how many individuals those twelve interacted with and so on? This could all be unfolding due to factors of incompetence, race and/or money. Recent announcements have four others he came in contact with being under home quarantine and monitored. Is this a wakeup call for America’s posture on greed, race or both? One thing for certain is if Ebola takes hold, survival may boil down to race and the ability to afford treatment. Just picture, if you will; an atmosphere where Ebola becomes so widespread that treatment will be first allocated to those with the means to pay (either through coverage or resources). Others who lack either could be left to die. We should take nothing for granted in this time of world corruption, moral compromise and ungodly indifference.