So… Is Ebola Airborne, Then?
The CDC has really, really got to get it’s stuff together. Seriously. After some digging around (3 minutes) on their website, I came across this flyer (link) that was located on this page (link), entitled, “What’s the difference between infections spread through the air or by droplets?” – it’s a pretty little flyer that is appealing to the eye and was probably made by some kid fresh out of
indoctrination college who is good at Photoshop.
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Oh, and it’s almost WORD FOR F*CKING WORD a carbon copy of their “How The Flu Is Spread” information (found here – and here is a PDF in case THAT gets taken down –How Flu Spreads | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC)
Just for the hell of it – here is the exact wording of how FLU is spread, according to the official CDC website (link and PDF – How Flu Spreads | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC – and here is a link to the CDC’s flu fact sheet and a PDF copy saved just in case they take it down – Flu Fact Sheet)
How Flu Spreads – “People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose”
How Ebola Spreads – “(Ebola) droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another. A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.”
Rather then getting too snarky and aggressively writing up a storm about how I feel about this PDF document, I’ll let the CDC’s own “Factsheet” speak for itself – and then we will dissect it line by line with snarky arrows and make some comparisons to the CDC’s flu fact sheet (link). First, here is the PDF as a whole (source link and a PDF link to both a PDF (CDC Ebola PDF) and a view of what the website looked like as of October 28th, 2014 at 2:20PM PST in case they take it down – here’s that PDF link – (Factsheets | Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever | CDC):
OK, time for some (sick) fun – let’s break down this REALLY seemingly simple flyer and pull it apart piece by piece. First of all, and maybe I’m alone here, but 99% of the people I know, when they are asking the question “is Ebola airborne” aren’t fricken scientists and mean “Yo! CDC, if someone coughs or something, like the flu, can I catch it?”
What they are NOT saying is, “Hello, Center for Disease Control, as someone who graduated from high school biology with honors, when I ask ‘is Ebola spread through the air’, I of course only mean when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. I, being an educated science person understand that when you say it’s not “airborne” because airborne means ‘when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes‘ is COMPLETELY different from aerosolized droplet spread, which has such a different definition, which is, ‘when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person through the air‘”
Note to CDC: 99% of the world DOESN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, or even care, for that matter. What we want to know is “if this person is sick and they sneeze or cough near me am I gonna die”.
So, now that that’s cleared up, let’s examine the “Factsheet” as promised – not necessarily in order, though, and compare it to the CDC’s flu fact sheet:
CDC Ebola Factsheet
CDC Flu (Influenza) Factsheet:
ARE THEY KIDDING? LOOK AT THE COMPARISON OF DRAWINGS:
So, this drumbeat clearing across the world of “you should be more afraid of the flu” is interesting since the TRANSMISSION IS ALMOST IDENTICAL…. but the symptoms are horrific. Do you want to know how many people die who catch the flu? According to the World Health Organization, about 5% (link) – and guess what the World Health Organization’s percentage of people who contract Ebola and then die is? 90% – NINETY PERCENT. (link). Whether you believe Ebola is a massive hoax, or you believe that it is very real and very scary – this information is crucial.
Whether you believe that the Ebola crisis is to be taken at face value or it is some grand conspiracy – the point is: READ BETWEEN THE (insert expletive) LINES, folks. The commenter above nailed the entire base of this essay: “If they say it’s airborne…” – exactly. If “they” say there’s ebola – whether you believe it is real or a hoax – the hard, cold truth is that you will be affected personally by this.
Think about what “they” have said in the last decade alone:
If they say that Iraq has nuclear warheads, regardless of the truth, we will all be affected and real men and women will die because we will go to war.
If they say that the attacks were unavoidable on September 11th, 2001 (google FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley who came out immediately after the attacks and proved they could have been avoided entirely), and that we will go to war in Afghanistan and have almost all of our rights taken away (see US PATRIOT ACT), then we lose our rights and go to war in million dollar tanks to fight men who live in caves.
If they say that they had no idea the economy would crash, it will crash and millions will become homeless.
I could go on and on and on, but as a community – not just an alternative news community, or a citizen journalism community, or any other kind of separate community – we must read between the lines and stop being so foolish as to not see what is unfolding right before our eyes. In an almost unbelievable seeming act of… defiance? Arrogance? dare I say… Ignorance? if, as the “conspiracy theorists” always says is true: that the evil government and corporations are out to get us, kill us, lie to us, and imprison us is true- then the act of turning their backs at something so extreme isn’t just arrogant – it’s reckless.
Don’t you find it odd that across the board, so many alternative news sources (and, truly – there are some decent people and great journalists and people who run these sites who see what is really happening with this ebola crisis and aren’t afraid to say it – and I commend them for it) are yelling “HOAX! LIES! FEAR PORN! PROPAGANDA!” with little to back up their claims with? A community that used to be so committed to getting each and every fact out of necessity to be respected and heard can not all of the sudden turn it’s back on each and every massive global event without an ounce of looking deeper, simply because it’s alarming and immediately come to the conclusion that “it MUST be a hoax because it’s bad and the media is pushing it down our throats”.
I’ve got news for you: Ebola is alarming. But to turn your back, believe one or two “trusted” alternative media figures who say there’s nothing to see here is not just lazy – it’s dangerous.
Sadly, the hard truth is that by doing this, the one thing that you say you have been fighting all of these years – the trap of falling right into the herd and conforming to the new normal – which, sadly, is to ignore something that could very well impact your life, you are potentially falling into a much, much more dangerous area – conspiracy theorist or regular Joe or Jane. Don’t get me wrong – the mainstream and alternative media push and hype and bloat any news story. But to simply scream “hoax” and look away is the one thing that will be the undoing of a community many have spent decades to build.
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