Obama's Ebola Talk Is A Great Reminder Of Why We Shouldn't Freak Out — VIDEO
On Saturday, during his weekly address, President Obama gave America an Ebola 101, reminding everyone why we shouldn't all give in to our hysteria. If you're one of those currently making DIY hazmat suits or avoiding public transportation, I highly recommend listening to the President's comfortingly confident analysis of the current Ebola crisis. Even if you don't, though, the main takeaway? Stop freaking out. America's got it sorted.
It's easy to get worried — hell, panic — over Ebola. When Thomas Eric Duncan became the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the illness, it was concerning. When he died on Oct.8, it began to get really distressing. When two of his healthcare workers were diagnosed with the disease? It became downright terrifying. But a lot of that is because we forget some of the basic info about the illness, and we give in to the hype. As Obama says:
This is a serious disease, but we can't give in to hysteria or fear — because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. We have to be guided by the science. We have to remember the basic facts.
So here are some things to keep in mind, per the President:
Fact Number One:
There is no outbreak in the United States. Ebola is killing hundreds of people in West Africa, yes, but over here? Only three. More people have been killed by bees in the last month alone. Says Obama:
We're a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we've seen three cases of Ebola diagnosed here.Now, even one infection is too many. At the same time, we have to keep this in perspective. As our public health experts point out, every year thousands of Americans die from the flu.
Fact Number Two:
It's not all that contagious, guys. You're not gonna get it just by standing next to someone, even if they are Ebola-ridden (I'm looking at you, homemade-Hazmat-suit lady). As Obama points out:
The only way that a person can contract the disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is already showing symptoms. I've met and hugged some of the doctors and nurses who've treated Ebola patients. I've met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office. And I'm fine.
Fact Number Three:
America's got a system, and it's working. Despite what it may feel like when we read about Duncan and the apparent circus that was the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, in actual fact, the U.S. is doing okay. As Obama reminds us:
We know how to fight this disease. We know the protocols. And we know that when they're followed, they work. So far, five Americans who got infected with Ebola in West Africa have been brought back to the United States-and all five have been treated safely, without infecting healthcare workers.
Fact Number Four:
No, a travel ban isn't the answer. Not only would it be logistically difficult, there's also a big likelihood it would backfire, big-time. Explains the President:
Trying to seal off an entire region of the world — if that were even possible — could actually make the situation worse. It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth. Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.
So we can all take some deep breaths now, and enjoy our weekends sans paranoia— and if you need a comfort refresher, just watch the video below. Seriously, his dulcet tones could calm anyone.
Images: Getty Images (2)