So, the sad news today is that a Dallas hospital worker who had contact with the late Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has now come down with symptoms and been diagnosed with the disease. What should be done? Well, based on the Spanish model, the first thing to do is see if the woman has any pets (in fact she does), and then kill them. This should send a message to all other health care workers who choose to risk dealing with Ebola patients: If you contract it somehow during your work, not only will you have perhaps a 50/50 chance of survival, but your dog/cat/parrot will be euthanized.
Forgive the sarcasm and bitterness, but the way the Spanish authorities dealt with this issue continues to strike me as both needlessly cruel and stupidly short-sighted. As I tried to express in that previous post, the thing we may have to worry about in the West with regard to Ebola is not so much the chances of ourselves or one of our loved ones catching the virus, but rather the many and varied blunt uses of force that governments may bring to bear in society in an effort not only to stop the virus but to contain panic.
Yet, it seems not nearly enough is being done to prevent the disease from spreading through international travel. And not enough was done by Western governments when the virus was still very beatable in West Africa earlier in the year. Back then, a few thousand troops with tents and medical supplies could have stopped it in its tracks. Now, it’s a game of catch-up, and there’s not enough people in the game.
It doesn’t make for a pretty picture.
May that Dallas health care worker have a speedy and full recovery.
Addendum: This Texas health care worker does own a dog, but the dog will not be killed, according to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who is quoted: “The dog’s very important to the patient and we want it to be safe.”
That, I would suggest, is a much better message to send to health care professionals in this circumstance than the one the Spanish authorities sent …