There is much good news about Ebola and Dallas. First, some four dozen people who were in quarantine after having contact with Thomas Eric Duncan while he was ill are now through the quarantine period and have been cleared as being Ebola free. This number includes the four family members who lived with him for three or four days before he was hospitalized and were in the contaminated apartment for a couple of days after. From what I’ve read, it is a small apartment and was pretty harrowing before they were moved. And yet not one of them got sick. This should calm a lot of fears about how easy it is to catch Ebola, which is not very. Or at least it should, but listening to some of the people around here, who I thought were intelligent, well educated adults, I have some doubts about that. Sigh. Seriously people. Chill. Out.
The two nurses who were treating Mr. Duncan while he was most contagious and contracted Ebola have been moved to other hospitals with the capabilities to handle Ebola without further infecting healthcare workers. So there are no active cases of Ebola in Dallas at this time. There are 120 others being monitored, mostly those who also treated Mr. Duncan and the two nurses who are being monitored. Quarantines for that group will go as long as to November 7. I have no idea if it is a good sign that no one else has become symptomatic, but I choose to believe it is. People are not dropping like flies, even after treating someone ill with Ebola while protocols were not being followed. Again, Ebola is not that easy to catch.
The people who have been cleared, including Mr. Duncan’s family members, have zero chance of carrying the Ebola virus and need the community’s support and compassion, not fear and mistreatment. It is my hope that the Dallas community will rise to the occasion and welcome them back with open arms. I would hope that the hysterical levels of fear being seen in other communities, such as the school in Maine who put a teacher on 21 days leave (it better be paid!) because she was in Dallas at a conference 10 miles from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, or a school in Ohio closing because a student was on an airplane with one of the nurses who later became ill will not be the norm for the people who have been cleared here in Dallas. I hope we can show the country and the world how to compassionately and humanely treat people who have been through such a harrowing experience and not treat them like lepers.
November 7th is eighteen days from now. If no one else becomes ill, Dallas will be completely Ebola free. If someone else does become ill, their contacts will have a 21 day period of quarantine. But, as is becoming increasingly clear, Dallas nor the United States has an outbreak or epidemic of Ebola. Stop watching and listening to the fear-mongering news shows trying to get ratings and the fear-mongering politicians trying to score political points. Below are two links to information about Ebola from the CDC and Dallas County Health and Human Services. Despite all of the idiots out there squalling that the government is lying to you about Ebola, these ARE good sources of information.
Today is an absolutely beautiful day here in Dallas. It is sunny and 80º. In fact we’ve had beautiful weather all month. That may have played into why The State Fair of Texas brought in $41 million in tickets sales, breaking the previous record of $33 million. Hmmm. Seems like most of the people of Dallas and it’s visitors have not been taken in by the fear-mongering after all. Good on you, Dallas!