Ebola – it's not Capt. Trips, nor the beginning of the end

Though we really, really want to get worked up over the Ebola thing it’s just not working out. Sure, this would be a great way to start the next 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, JL Bourne slaughters the world novel (especially given the recent allegations the patients were treated with a ‘secret serum’) but you gotta think – there’s a lot stuff more likely to kill us. Asian Swine SARS Flu, for one thing. McDonald’s chicken nargets for another. We always figured some sort of weirdness with the CDC would go down at some point, we just didn’t know if it would be Ebola, the Bazi Plague, Descolada or even Spattergoit. Anyway, here’s what our wretched granola-eating minion Trailmix thinks about it – and he’s from Hotlanta, where the zombiepocalypse will start. Mad Duo

Ebola – it’s not Capt. Trips, or the beginning of the end

Most days I consider living in North Georgia as being too close to Atlanta. The news last week that two US citizens that have been infected with Ebola are going to be treated at Emory University’s hospital makes this sentiment especially true. As I watched the ambulance traveling down Interstate 75 from Dobbins Air Force Base to downtown Atlanta on Saturday with the first patient I could not help but imagine it careening off the road, creating a nightmare biohazard scene, releasing the disease, and generally being a tidy start to the apocalypse.

Maybe I watch too many movies; life is rarely that interesting.

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You know though, I’m not really worried about it – primarily because it is Emory they’re going to. If there is anywhere in the country that could be capable of handling Ebola patients, Emory’s it. Emory has a very well respected teaching hospital, plus the frakkin’ CDC. While we all know from Season 1 of The Walking Dead that the CDC is not going to be that helpful during a zombie apocalypse, for germs and bugs and such they really are the world’s experts (even with the recent lapses in protocol)l. The technology, isolation techniques, and level of care that can be offered at Emory surpasses what is available in Africa.

The secondary reason that I am not worried is because we have had Ebola in the country for years, though these will admittedly be the first living patients. I am not just referring to little vials frozen and locked in a vault here. There have been poor monkeys dying from the virus in labs in the US for decades. If you don’t believe me read Richard Preston’s excellent 20 year old book “The Hot Zone“.

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The current strain of Ebola are not airborne. You have to come into contact with bodily fluids and the only time that I mess with someone else’s juices is after a successful date. That (almost) never involves taking her to a hospital or lab, though it could make for an interesting line at a bar: “Hey baby, you’re looking good tonight, and I’m Ebola free.”

My tertiary reason for lack of concern is that I very rarely go to Atlanta.

I think it comes down this. These folks were working for Samaritan’s Purse, the mission group ran by Franklin Graham. So unlike the poor 700+ souls in Africa, they have the funding to seek the best care possible. Add to that is an obvious general interest in the scientific community to actually do a little science. Throw in the fact that Emory has this really cool area to work with really sick people. The result is that there is no way this scenario was not going to play out, eventually, with some hideous disease.

Could it go wrong? Sure it could. Has science messed with nature in ways it should not have which resulted in… well, let us just say less than positive results? Absolutely. But while I find all this incredibly interesting, there really are more important things to worry about…like, where am I going canoeing this afternoon?

What say you?

– Trailmix

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This is Patient Zero from the Swine Flu, in case you didn’t get the reference.

Breach Bang Clear Kevin MartinAbout the Author: Master Outdoorsy-Guy Kevin “Trailmix” Martin is not a typical “smelly tree-hugger” but he is definitely the closest thing we have to a granola-loving bark-chewer on staff (that’s including the yoga-loving cat lady warrior princess). After working in the outdoor industry for seven years beginning in the late nineties, from summer camps to university programs, he found a new passion in rescue operations. He served on a county rescue squad in the southern Appalachians as well as a state urban search and rescue task force. He is a certified rescue technician in: swiftwater, high-angle, wilderness search, structural collapse, and vehicle extrication, to name a few. He was deployed to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina over a 14 month period. He has taught various courses for several colleges and universities. Trailmix works for a private university in Public Safety while also running the school’s outdoor program.

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