Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate Ebola

I am not sure if you have heard anything about this Ebola thing.  The American media is in complete Fear Machine mode right now, stoking images of bodies stacked like cord wood with smoking piles of corpses in government sanctioned “purification pits” on the edge of town.  All great news stories in this century are about creating fear, and this one is a doozy.  Just when you think that Isis is coming to your house to behead you, now you discover that some crazy ass African monkey virus will get you first. 

I really want to rest easily and think, “Oh, those smart scientists and doctors will take care of this.” and then I can get down to the business of gambling on football and listening to my Sturgill Simpson records.  However, I will be damned if the Fear Machine hasn’t gotten me too. The Fear Machine likes to focus on “a horrible death while bleeding out of your anus and eyes… What it means to YOUR WEEKEND… Coming up after the break!”.  However, it’s the between the lines things that get me.  When you wash away the concept that everyone that works in a hospital is a caring, job focused, intelligent problem solver is when things get scary.

I have spent my fair share of time in area hospitals while caring for senior citizens and checking in with friends.  The one thing that I have taken away is that hospitals are very much like every place I have ever worked.  If you look around your place of employment I will guarantee you that a mere 20% of the people employed there know what they are doing and are blessed with common sense.  You cannot tell me that a hospital is any different.  There are some real “lowest common denominator” individuals mixed in with the actual caregivers.  I’m not trying to be an asshole here.  I’m being brutally honest.  I think we can agree that not everyone that ends up in medical support roles does so out of virtue.  There are an unhealthy number of people in those roles that I know that got there after partying their way through high school, their early twenties, and realized that they might want to make more than minimum wage.  “I was gonna be a hair stylist, but then Judy told me that she is making like really good money as a (fill in name of tech position here).  We’re going to totally get an apartment together too.  OMG!  Where did you get those ear rings?”

That’s who is handling key elements of that blood test of yours or that MRI.  Rest easy. 

So, let me get this right…  A guy shows up at a Dallas hospital.  He tells them he feels really shitty and he just got back from Liberia.  Meanwhile, every respected news source on the planet has been saying non-stop “if you see anyone from Liberia that is even remotely sick, they probably have Ebola, and that is really, really, really bad.”.  The Dallas hospital, despite all of the worldwide panic, says “Hey man.  You probably have the flu.  You should go home.  Call us if you get really sick.”  I like to think this was a group decision based on his insurance status, or maybe someone blindly following policy despite this situation screaming out “SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES!!!”. 

The man returns in an ambulance, so I think it is safe to say that he is really fucked up by this point.  They hastily set up care; expose a bunch of people in the process, and then one of the nurses comes up sick.  At this point one of her co-workers thinks to herself, “Wow, that is a drag that my co-worker got Ebola from that fucked up African guy we were both caring for together.  Maybe our protection wasn’t up to par.  Hmm…  I don’t feel very good.  Maybe I should quarantine myself like they said we should do in training.  Ha, fuck that!  I need to get on a commercial airliner so I can go plan my wedding.  I mean, what’s more important?  Stopping the spread of a potential epidemic that could kill millions, or choosing the DJ for my wedding?  When does my flight leave?  Cough!”

Only a young woman planning a wedding could be so self involved as to not care about anything else.  Personally I am trying to “friend her” on The Facebook so I can get updates like “Just shit myself.  I need to clean up before the caterer gets here with the wedding cake samples!  68 days until I marry my best friend!” or “This blood coming from my ears is the exact shade of the bridesmaids shoes!  Lol!  66 days until The Big Day!”.   It is really all about her special day.

What’s the chance of her coughing on someone with the sheer amount of space Frontier Airlines provides in coach? I mean, there must be a good two and a half inches between seats.  The good news is that Frontier Airlines cleaned up the plane after the bride-to-be infected a bunch of sad sack passengers.  If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that the airline clean up crew was 100% trained and outfitted properly.  Have you ever been aware of an airlines service person to cut corners?  Who wouldn’t be excited to have hopped on that plane on the next flight, which of course went to yet another city to help spread this disease around the country.  Once again, I would like to stress that from all reports, the bride-to-be did come to a decision on either chicken or beef for her reception entrée, so not all was lost.  It’s a fair trade.

I’m also not exactly filled with confidence with the CDC.  Maybe it is because they are scientists and are being forced to talk in sound bytes for TV.  For example, in science they never want to say something is “impossible”.  So when some fella from the CDC that has almost no media experience goes on TV and says “it is a very small chance that the Ebola virus was transmitted on that plane”, he thinks he is saying “Based on extensive research, there’s no way that happened”.  Then the news people react and say, “The CDC would not rule out that the Ebola virus has been delivered via air to most major US cities.”  When the CDC guys comes on to refute those charges, he then inevitably lets something else slip along the lines of “we don’t really know for sure” that fills the air with more uncertainty.

I don’t know how this thing will shake out.  I know for sure I am not going to eat any raw monkey meat or allow any bats to shit on me.  I am also not going to that Dallas hospital for any treatment if I start feeling sick.  I just hope I can hold on until that girl’s wedding.  If I can wedge myself in her life via The Facebook, I’m going to the reception.  Oh, and I’m getting the chicken.


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