As a physician and a public health advocate, you would think I’d have plenty to write about the Ebola outbreak. To be honest, the whole situation has left me rather uninspired, mainly due to the ridiculous hysteria surrounding the disease in the US media. That said, the current outbreak has made some things particularly clear.
- Americans don’t care about events in other parts of the world… until it affects our own borders.
- Americans are terribly uneducated in geography.
- In a battle between science and fear/hysteria, science will always lose.
- Any issue, no matter how apolitical, can be turned into a political weapon… by both parties.
- Our country continues to misfear.
- We expect our health care system to save us in times of crisis despite complaining about it constantly.
- We underestimate the importance of public health (see number 6).
- Only one person in the United States has died from Ebola, and only one person is currently under treatment.
- There have already been deaths from the flu this season, including a child who died this week.