Post 541: You may want to be seated when I tell you…!

I hate to be the one to tell you, but you will die, if not today, sometime in future. The only thing I can’t tell you is “how”.  You may wonder why I bother to tell you the obvious, so I note that there is mild hysteria concerning Ebola, and I want you to know chances are slim to zilch you will die from this rare African disease.

On the other hand, there are genuine threats to your mortality, as shown in this National Safety Council graph. (The Heart disease and cancer box is not proportional to the rest because of space limitations. The others are proportional to risk.)

From National Safety Council, odds for dying by any cause, USA.

From National Safety Council, odds for dying by any cause, USA.

See Ebola on the chart? No? Of course not! Can you get Ebola? Sure, if you are exposed to someone in the infectious stages of the disease (after the fever and other symptoms come on), which currently involves very few people in the United States of America. Of those, some worked with Ebola patients as medical personnel, and others had direct contact with the blood, vomit, maybe diarrhea of the sick.

Presumably, the medical personnel had accidental contact with body fluids, and the other Ebola patients had contact with the disease by handling the sick or dead without appropriate infection control garments.

Prognosis for Ebola patient recovery: Good, given the state of medical care in the USA, unlike West Africa, where the disease overwhelmed available medical resources.

Chances are, you will never see an Ebola-infected person in your community if you live in the USA or other countries with developed medical resources. Your best defense, in fact, may be to shut off Fox News, ignore CNN, and forget about turning on MSNBC. All their scare stories about Ebola coming to America are going to kill you before Ebola does! Relax. You will die one day, but chances are it will be something other than Ebola.

18 thoughts on “Post 541: You may want to be seated when I tell you…!

    • I hear you, Ruth. So much time is spent worrying about the things that might happen that people forget to enjoy the here and now. Having experienced serious illness, I now see things a bit differently: long life is less important than life well lived. In my family, both sides, those who didn’t die in their 50s survived into their middle to late 90s. Since I survived my 50s (barely!), I tend to see myself as a candidate for the long tlife till into my 90s. If it doesn’t happen, well, so be it!

    • LOL! 😉 Dogs can trip you, you know, and you can fall down and suffer a fatal collision with a sharp edge on a piece of furniture. Of course, a cat (let alone multiple cats) in anticipation of being fed can do the same by weaving in and out of one’s legs…!

      Having experienced near death, I don’t worry about death anymore. It actually was pleasant so far as the promise of the end of suffering through death can be called that. I suspect whatever it is that snuffs me out, it will be antibiotic-resistant since I have a weak immune system.

  1. Presumably it is the constant “errors and mistakes” of these “highly-trained, highly-skilled” caregivers that will end up causing the ebola virus to break free of all containment efforts and enter the general population and spread like wildfire. The CDC has already had several instances of carelessness which have been publicly reported and all the efforts to “calm” me aren’t working because I can see through the “Don’t say or do anything that will cause a panic” syndrome that most of these egg heads work with.

    I have every certainty they will somehow manage to screw things up and cause an epidemic.

    What the medical “experts” don’t accomplish with their bungling, the apathetic general population will do with their lack of concern or their over confidence that it isn’t going to happen to them.

    I am sure there are some terrorist suicide bomber types who are — even as I speak — trying to get themselves infected with ebola so they can sneak into the U.S., fade into the population and start spreading it around once they become contagious.

    We need to close the borders to all incoming ships and planes from West Africa immediately and we need to forbid American Citizens to travel to those places until this crisis is resolved.

    Just sayin’ —

    • That can contribute to it, certainly, but I won’t let myself become worked up about the possibilities of catching it myself until that terrorist gives me the hug of death and dies at my feet.

      Will mistakes be made? Of course. There was that nurse in Dallas who turned away the Liberian at the ER. Others were needlessly exposed to the infected man, including children. How many nurses making mistakes like that will it take to kill 315,000,000 Americans? Or even 1000? Do you doubt infection control efforts work or just assume a significant number of health care professionals don’t give a damn and deliberately ignore basic hygiene let alone basic infection control procedures, public be damned?

      Perhaps because I worked with statistics as predictors of future events (probabilities), I can’t work myself into a lather about Ebola when the numbers don’t predict an epidemic in this country. If it makes you feel any better, John, I’ll add “yet” at the end of that sentence. It can happen. I just don’t see objective, compelling evidence that it is imminent.

      • I am not much of a seer myself on issues such as this one and I will have to wait and see if I can claim some future “I told you so moment” or not — we will just have to wait and see how it tall turns out — I do take a lot of comfort from your words however and I thank you for that because it is valuable to me. 🙂

        • Me either. I remind myself, too, of the Italian proverb, “A thousand probabilities don’t make one fact.” I am hopeful those most responsible for controlling this disease are up to the challenge and are honest with us about any outcomes.

          • with all the cuts that have been made in the federal budget by the right wingers — who want to continually cut everything in order to feed their rich friends with bigger and better tax breaks and other expensive perks — at the expense of the middle class and the poor — I doubt that those responsible for controlling this disease are either going to be up to the challenge or honest about any outcomes — I doubt they want to be responsible for causing mass panic — but like I said, “I am waiting with bated breath and I hope I am wrong.”

          • Then it is fitting that the mess will begin in the part of the country responsible for sending some of the worst TP yahoos to Congress will be the first to be exposed to this disaster.

      • Very interesting!! Mom has taken the liberty to cut down on news access around the house. When dad is home he always watches the news but mom gets up and leaves when the news comes on. The frantic newscasts and one sidedness turns her off. She does stay informed but not greatly informed and more of the news that is local….that actually may effect her. Ebola has been blown up and possibly it could happen but chances are slim…so why scare the cwap out of peeps. These talk shows are equally bad if not worse….especially the doctor shows. I could tell you some things that would curl your hair but I’ve said enough. Thanks my friend.


        • They have to fill 24 hours a day with something, competing with each other to keep us tuned in to their channel. Scaring us crapless is a good way to keep us hooked. “Oh! Oh! Oh! Now it’s 100 people exposed to the Liberian guy!” And so on. Later, it’ll be none of the 100 exposed to the guy came down with the disease after 21 days in quarantine, though that won’t be mentioned to any degree near as much as the more sensational initial report. That, in fact, is my main issue with television news: Very little journalism, lots of hype.

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