The “Ebola Cowboys” and the Atavistic Popular Scare of Epidemics – 10/31/2014

For Your Information (FYI) (you cannot be entertained by real popular fear and panic, even on Halloween……)

“A common manifestation of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are at risk of or already suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria….”

During the MedievaL “Black Death” Plague the patients and the people who cared for them, doctors, nurses, families and friends, were all “ostracized” and, in the best cases, “quarantined”(in the Churches “Miracles Courts”(“Cour des Miracles”)), otherwise, put immediately to death by “mobs”……

It seems inconceivable that the psychological and sociological dimensions of a Bio-Security Level 4 threat, the highest and most dangerous for a population due for its potential death rate of 70%, like Ebola, were not taken in consideration in the protocols to recruit, train, send and recuperate/reintegrate after field operation the personnel that were exposed or had the potential to be exposed to the virus in West Africa.

It is very surprising that health professionals, that should know better, refuse “quarantine” for themselves, when they applied it, hopefully thoroughly, to the patients in their care in West Africa.

Well organized “Quarantine” is not a “dirty” word and when it is well managed, it is the safest way into and out of an epidemic with the minimum of danger and pain…..

It does NOT have to be viewed as an attack to private liberty, but, instead an enforcement of the saying “individual freedom starts and stops at the limits of another individual one”……….

Particularly, when that other “individual life” is potentially at risk and/or perceived as such, with the consequential potential of generating mass hysteria…..

If the isolation of suspected Ebola patients and the health care practitioners who care for them is organized appropriately as in the case of the US military, including major officials (Doctors, Nurses, Corpsmen, NCOs/COs up to their top CO the Major General) who have been in quarantine since their return, on rotation, from the West Africa nations stricken by Ebola, the “quarantine” would be just part of a well thought out process that was planned for it, including comfortable accommodations and activities for its duration (21 days or whatever the duration necessary)

Instead, we start to see some “Ebola Cowboys” behavior manifestations, even though they are understandable in light of the lack of appropriate enforced process and indecision, that compund the already spreading public prejudices against the lack of control of the Ebola treatment process, generating public panic toward the disease and discrimination toward the caregivers, even among their communities and previous friends……:+(

Ebola quarantine must be set up and rnforced with appropriate accommodations and activities to make it as bearable as possible.

It will, hopefully protect, both, the public from the perceived danger of Ebola spread by the potential patients and their caregivers, and the returning from West Africa and local USA, Ebola caregivers, from potential discrimination, ostracism and even attacks.

Of course, the “quarantine” process has to be spotlighted to make sure the public gradually overcome its fears and consequential prejudices……..;+)


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