I wasn’t expecting to see any breaking news Thursday night right before I went to bed, but breaking news was happening. CNN had just reported a confirmed case of Ebola.
Oh, boy. Here we go again, I thought.
I know I’m not the only one shaking my head at what I’ve deemed as breaking news lately. The headlines and the knee-jerk reactions being reported have been downright laughable.
I mean no disrespect to those who’ve been directly affected by Ebola, but the regular news headlines have been riddled with hype and fear for quite a few weeks now. Because of that, I’ve stopped going to certain news sites. I even stopped reading about Ebola. I need facts, not fear. I want tips, not terror. I want straight up answers not scared-out-of-my-mind thoughts running through my head right before I go to bed. But that’s what’s being published in news stories and the follow up news stories lately:
Patient might have Ebola! Oops. She doesn’t.
Pentagon entrance closed—is it a possible Ebola victim? Nope, she wasn’t.
Man vomiting—he may have Ebola! Our bad. Dude just had a tummy ache.
I know that the media uses headlines to draw in its readers and viewers, but how they were hyping what didn’t need to be hyped was getting a bit ridiculous. Until it wasn’t.
Thursday night, things got serious. And I’m not talking about the Ebola virus.
Did you see it?
While reading the CNN article, something caught my eye. I saw it three times within the article and found it quite disturbing.
A Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York from West Africa has tested positive for the Ebola virus, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told CNN.
Investigators took the case seriously from the outset because it appeared the doctor didn't quarantine himself following his return, the law enforcement official said
The law enforcement official said the doctor was out in public. Authorities also quarantined his girlfriend, with whom he was spending time since his return from Africa.
Now, I was worried about Ebola just like a lot of people are, but I’ve been keeping my wits about me and using common sense to protect my family and to keep as healthy as I can. After reading that article, what I’m more worried about is that law enforcement has stepped in.
Law enforcement and health care. We’ve seen that mix before. Remember Justina Pelletier? And you’ve heard the latest medical cases where authorities have stepped in, right? Two sisters, a baby, and a boy named Jaxon now have to deal with more than just their medical issues. Somehow, instead of getting necessary support, it seems that an authority figure muscled their way into the situation. Law enforcement got involved. If you followed Justina’s story like many of us here did, you asked yourself over and over again, how did any of that involvement help her? It didn’t.
Mixing law enforcement and health care doesn’t seem to have such great outcomes. So why are law enforcements joining the Ebola situation? How’d they get involved? What exactly are they monitoring? More importantly, who’s providing their services? And, well done, CNN, for adding that law enforcement bit so seamlessly in your article so as not to raise too much of a concern! But I have a few questions now that it’s been brought up:
Was law enforcement called in because the US didn’t take precautionary steps early enough?
Was it because the US didn’t close the borders in a timely fashion and opened a further threat on its citizens?
Were they on standby when this situation got more serious, or is this another knee-jerk reaction to quell fears the media is attempting to broadcast?
And now more specifically, these law enforcement people—who are they?
The article mentions authorities are overseeing them. Which authorities?
Are those authorities and the law enforcement folks Ebola ready? Ebola trained? Ebola immune?
Will they be donning the same protective gear that has finally been suggested to medical staff when they are working with a suspected Ebola patient?
One more question, how long are they planning on sticking around?
Maybe I’m too young to remember other national health situations such as the one we’re reading about now, but I don’t ever recall needing law enforcement for past health crises and outbreaks. The CDC and vaccine-pushing folk may make us feel like the other situations and diseases are always deadly, and that we should all get our flu shots for diseases that have nothing to do with the flu, but has anything ever warranted the authorities, law enforcement, or a uniformed officer to stand at the ready to protect us?
Unless the ultimate goal from the authorities is not to protect us but to control…
From what I have read and seen these last few weeks about the Ebola situation, not much of it has been controlled. The media is working overtime trying to influence the public’s reaction while the government previously downplayed the situation. Too bad, because this situation has become the butt of jokes, and those who are in certain positions regarding health have lost all sorts of respect and credibility.
We’ve recently watched those in position of responsibility make up their own rules and later break the rules. We’ve watched those in authority blunder and flounder on the news. We’ve watched our nation go from respected to being ridiculed. We’ve also watched the Ebola situation unfold from barely a blip on the radar to national panic. We’ve seen more knee-jerk reactions and chaos than common sense be used all along too. With this new layer of authority though, with this addition of law enforcement being added to the mix, I’m really hoping that it was a common sense move to add them and nothing else. But I have a nagging feeling. I’m frightened of where this could lead, and I can’t help but think, what will stop them from stepping in other health care situations down the road?
If you didn’t think you needed to find a way to protect your family, your children, and your health care rights, let me sound a warning: my health care and your health care could be in jeopardy. Now’s the time to learn how to protect yourself. It has to be now, because it doesn’t feel like those who are in a position to help are truly prepared to do so.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.