As many of my alert readers already know, the country is in the grip of an “Ebola Panic”, or the fear that we are all doomed to die a hideous and ignoble death, oozing precious bodily fluids through every orifice, nook and cranny that one can have on the non-pierced human body. (Those with piercings have more places from which to ooze and thus, will die quicker.)
As with any routine panic, some misinformation about the disease and its dangers are propagated via the news media and by the usually 100% reliable Internet blog sites and chat rooms. Dr. Clown has done extensive research in order factually to answer some of the questions that trouble a concerned nation. As a public service, you may want to pass this information along to those you know who haven’t already sealed themselves into their survival room.
First, what is Ebola?
Ebola is a teeny-tiny virus, shaped like a lovely lapel pin. A virus, as you know, is something that usually buggers up your computer and for which you have to call IT Support which then sends some pasty-looking guy to muck around on your keyboard until the virus has been neutralized. In the current outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, the Ebola virus spread to some West African monkeys who were searching the web for a cheap and handy supply of bananas. In return, some of these monkeys, fattened up on bananas, were eaten by some West African villagers and the virus jumped species again; first the PCs, then the monkeys and now to humans. The virus is highly deadly to humans and monkeys with a mortality rate of around 104%. The PC mortality rate, however, is waaaaay lower.
How is Ebola Spread?
The virus has several ways (vectors) through which it spreads. The most common way is that the Ebola virus seeks out those who get their health information exclusively through FOX News and CNN. Apparently, massive doses of fear and panic can cause Ebola symptoms to strike viewers. These symptoms, however, are usually false positives and turn out to be common cases of the flu or, more often, nothing. Science tells us that the virus can only be transmitted via an infected person’s bodily fluids contacting the mucous membrane of another person. These fluids include: saliva, sweat, blood, stool, urine, semen and sap. The mucous membrane can be breached by the virus in several places: nostrils, eyelids, lips, mouth, ears, genitalia, anus, open-wound or through an underdeveloped B.S. detector. However, as many of you know, “science” is currently just a tool of an Obama administration that is bent on destroying Western Civilization. Ergo, take the science explanation with a giant grain of Ebola-free salt.
Can One Get Ebola From Talking to an Infected Person on the Phone?
While there have not been any reported cases of this transmission vector (yet), Dr. Clown does not rule it out. There is the intimacy of one’s mouth being very close to the phone’s mic while the infected person’s mouth is also very close to their mic, thus giving the virus a chancy but tempting opportunity to leap the small divide. Having said that, the virus does not actually have legs so jumping is problematic but the little buggers are crafty. I wouldn’t recommend calling an infected friend to offer sympathy; but if you must, place yourself in voluntary 21-day isolation following that call. Many of us will appreciate your absence. Should you get an e-mail from an infected person or from someone who sounds like they could be because they are from Africa, delete the message immediately, even if the message is offering to share several million of misappropriated petro dollars with you as the mailer’s agent in the U.S. The money will be of little use to you if you die. Sanitize your screen thoroughly.
Who Should Be Avoided?
You should avoid any citizen of a country with an African-sounding name such as Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Zaire, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, Cameroon, New Guinea, Tasmania and the like, even if he or she hasn’t been to their country of origin for many years and even if those countries are thousands of miles from any known cases of Ebola. However, if the citizen is from African countries like Egypt, Morocco, Algeria or Libya, no worries, they don’t sound dangerous unless, of course, we’re talking about suicide bombers which are a whole other panic issue. You should also avoid all healthcare workers, especially if they work in some random clinic in Dallas; make that the entire state of Texas just to be safe. Dr. Clown is currently steering a wide path around several of my neighbors who work at the Atlanta CDC. I wave to them from my car (windows tightly shut) but refuse to stop and chat like in the olden days before Ebola.
Are HazMat Suits the Answer?
Yes, on several levels. First, as Halloween approaches, these suits provide the kids with the perfect scary costume. Just imagine the fear of seeing several thus-robed figures approaching your door. Add a weed-killer tank and spray wand to the outfit and I’m promising you, your little goblins will cause quite the stir. Then, too, wearing one of these suits on public transportation will allow a concerned commuter the luxury of lots of room. Wearing the suit in an office environment also raises the probability that the wearer will be granted paid leave until FOX and CNN start covering some other story; Benghazi is my guess.
Are There Any Positives About Ebola?
This is a tough call. There are, of course, the positives referred to in the HazMat answer above. And, the country’s pre-occupation with Ebola has diverted our attention from chronic poverty, widening wealth disparity, carbon pollution, political gridlock, a disintegrating Middle East, Russian expansionism and China’s over-inflated economic bubble, so that’s all good. On another front, the Ebola panic has allowed Giant Microbes, Inc, a toy manufacturer, to completely sell out of its Ebola Plush Toy at the bargain price of $9.95. The company is working overtime to re-stock in time for Christmas because having an Ebola Plush Toy is way better than having Ebola.
Can Ebola Be Weaponized?
According to two Republican Congressmen, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, ISIS is already planning to use Ebola against America. Here’s how it would work. First, an ISIS fanatic would infect him or herself with the virus. Then, this person would apply for a Mexican tourist visa. Once the visa was processed, reviewed and approved, the ISIS plotter would fly to Mexico City, contact a Mexican cartel smuggler and arrange to be spirited into the U.S. along our porous border. Once inside the U.S. the ISIS attacker(s) would take public transportation to a major southwestern city and run amok down the street vomiting on people with open wounds, peeing into victim’s ears or sweet-talking the innocent into having unprotected sex, among other nasty vector tactics. Given that from the time of infection to the onset of symptoms and then total immobility and death is a matter of 14 days, the ISIS plotters are hoping that the Mexican Immigration bureaucracy is very, very efficient in processing tourist visas. I’m sure too, that the cartel smugglers will be very cooperative with ISIS once word gets out that their human cargo has Ebola. In any case, if you live in a major southwestern city and you have an open wound, I suggest that you not go out until FOX gives the “all clear”.
Observoid of the Day: Eating a health-conscious meal of asparagus, cabbage, beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli just prior to donning a HazMat suit is discouraged.