I know I normally post something funny on Saturday nights, but this issue was too important to wait until Monday.
Ellora's Cave models and authors, Axl Goode and Taylor Cole, were on their way home from EC's Romanticon a couple of weeks ago. They also happened to be on the same flight as Amber Vinson, the nurse from Dallas who was diagnosed with ebola shortly after her trip to Akron to visit her family. Both men are now under a mandatory 21-day quarantine because they were sitting within three feet of Ms. Vinson. Since they cannot work their days jobs during this period, they have a fundraiser on GoFundMe to cover their living expenses.
Assuming Axl's account is accurate, his conversations with both the Dallas County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control are disturbing at the least. They're dealing with a virulent, highly contagious and deadly disease. Yet, the delays in responding to the men show what could be construed as a lack or knowledge and/or concern.
This scares me because it shows the same disregard for public safety by government and medical personnel that was shown during the AIDS epidemic in the '80's. Lack of accurate information in how the disease is transmitted and how to prevent transmission was disseminated to the public. Why? Because it was considered a gay disease and who cared about gays. No compassion. No common sense.
That attitude made me sick then, and it still does now. I wanted to believe Thomas Duncan's care, or lack thereof, was born of ignorance, but I have to wonder. If he'd been white and American, instead of a foreign-born black, would he have received an appropriate diagnosis the first time he went to Texas Presbyterian's ER?
Because, yes, Mr. Duncan was sent home by the staff while he was in the early throes of an ebola infection. He could have contaminated a large number of people, not just two of his nurses after he was re-admitted. And right now, there's no answers of how the nurses became infected. Spokesmen for Texas Presbyterian swear up-and-down the ladies followed infectious care protocols. But this is the same hospital that's looking at huge liability for the original ER screw-up.
So there's a lot of rumors and misinformation running around. In fact, as I paid our bill at one of the local Bob Evans' restaurants in Ohio, the cashier noted that I use a Texas debit card, and asked me if I was in the medical profession.
Really? Has it come to where anyone from the Texas medical community is a suspected carrier? Then I reminded myself just why I left rural Ohio twenty-five years ago.
All I can say it's the combination of arrogance and ignorance that will be our downfall despite the common sense displayed by men like Axl and Taylor.
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