On Oct. 15th, one week after the death of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the US, the second healthcare worker who treated the patient tested positive for Ebola virus, according to news agencies. It was not necessarily shocking but nonetheless disheartening to hear the healthcare workers had come down with the disease that they had been fighting against. By many accounts, it seems the secondary infection in Dallas was due to the insufficient protective gears the healthcare workers wore. I wish for the speedy recovery of the two nurses at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital. The healthcare profession not only deserves our respect but also gratitude.
The following day, on Oct. 16th, a congressional hearing regarding the handling of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the US and related cases was held at the NIH, National Institutes of Health, in Maryland. Dr. Thomas Friedan as well as other officials was attendant at the hearing. As I watched the televised hearing I felt sorry for the ways CDC officials were grilled by congress people, some of whom showed signs of hysteria, the same sort of hysteria exhibited by many Americans who are excessively aware of the Ebola cases in the US.
All things considered, however, I do not think what is happening in some sectors of America, including the mass media, is necessarily bad. Certainly, any hysteria is by definition counter-productive because the irrational nature of hysteria often leads to irrational human behaviors. However, the heightened awareness of potential disaster seems often productive, leading to the curtailment of that very disaster. I think the silver lining of all of the near-hysterical awareness of the danger of Ebola virus will be the bipartisan approval of the federal funding for the development of the vaccine and perhaps the cure of this dreadful disease.