Ebola? What Ebola?

Bowling Ebola doctor Craig Spencer is set to be released from Bellevue Hospital Center in New York sometime today so he can continue his reign of disease-spreading terror that was so rudely interrupted by health officials determined to keep him from infecting the city’s entire population by spewing hemorrhagic-fever-laced vomit all over it. Spencer has reportedly been cured of the ‘bola and has felt well enough in recent days to ride an exercise bike and play his banjo, if anyone still needs a reason to hate him.

Reactions to the news have ranged from the predictably dickish to “Ebola? Is that still at thing?” Which is amazing, considering how recently everyone was terrified the country was one adorable feverish toddler away from turning into a plague-ravaged hellscape right out of a Stephen King novel.

Less than a month ago, polls showed that two-thirds of the country thought a widespread Ebola outbreak was likely in the states. That same percentage of easily terrified yahoos also supported bans on people travelling here from the West African nations that have been the source of the outbreak, a move that every public health expert from here to Cameroon called counterproductive at best. People who had been anywhere on the African continent in the last six months found themselves ostracized from society, ordered to stay home from work and school, even though none of them had been within a thousand miles of a molecule of Ebola.

As for public figures, Gov. Chris Christie was a total dick about the whole crisis. Ditto Bill O’Reilly. And Peggy Noonan. Rand Paul found his libertarian side at war with his “I want to be president and must pander to screeching idiots even though I’m a doctor and should know better” side. The administration of boy governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana cancelled the hotel reservations of infectious disease workers headed to New Orleans for a conference and ordered them to stay out of the state, presumably until the governor (who has a biology degree from an Ivy League school) could perform an exorcism. New Iowa Senator-elect Joni Ernst was rendered incoherent on the subject, though to be fair she is incoherent on every subject). Maine Gov. Paul LePage was reduced to passively-aggressively threatening a citizen of his state, who we should note did not actually have Ebola, has never had Ebola, and is now leaving Maine, presumably in the vain hope she’ll find more reasonable yahoos elsewhere in the country. To which we say, good luck, Nurse Hickox.

Then about a week ago, all these people seemed to finally shut the hell up and put a lid on their barely contained panic. We wonder what might have happened to get all these wingnuts to stop ginning up the rubes over this non-threatening threat. It’s a dilly of a puzzler.

About the only public figure we can think of who didn’t behave like a bloviating, blustering, pandering, sackless, fear-mongering idiot was President Obama, who listened to the actual experts and didn’t panic and shut down all the flights or retreat into the White House bunker. He let the CDC and all the doctors and nurses do their jobs, and now there are no known Ebola cases in the entire country.

Of course the epidemic is still an enormous problem in the West African nations that have been dealing with it for months and have seen 70 percent of their infected die but eh, no one here is trying to win an election anymore. Sorry, Africa. Get back to us in the fall of 2016. If you’re all still dying, maybe we’ll send you some aid, after we’re done soiling our Jockeys again.

[New York Times]


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