Survival by flight when confronting an unknown threat or overwhelming foe is one of man’s strongest survival instincts. It is almost as spontaneous as jerking away from an unanticipated hot object. It is genetically programmed into our neurons. But this is not always the best choice of actions. We have been told that if confronted by a full grown bear the best course of action is to lie down and play dead since bears can outrun us and out-climb us. But the fear and flight response usually overwhelms all reason.
In the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa there are many who demand that the only course of action is to contain this deadly disease by isolating the nations where it is ravaging by closing boarders and ban flights from these areas or even the entire continent of Africa. On the surface this seems reasonable enough. But like the Prohibition in the 1920’s this tends to force everything underground making it far more difficult to control. Closing the boarders to Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will simply cause people in fear of contracting Ebola to cross the borders to other African nations illegally and spread it unchecked not knowing where it is coming from or going. As it rapidly spreads there were be not enough world resources to contain and treat it from spreading throughout the world. Closing boarders also makes it far more difficult for those wanting to help fight this disease to bring in supplies and resources.
It is far better to allow people to legally travel but monitor whether they have come down with this disease as is now being done. It is far easier to contain it since we know where most potential carriers are and can educate and make them aware of the dangers the disease may have on those they come in contact with including loved ones. It also makes it far easier to seek out immediate treatment and disclose to authorities who they have come in contact with if it isn’t made something illegal. This course of action will result in far less spread than making it illegal for such people to travel.
Ebola is a far more fordable foe than al-Qaeda, ISIS, North Korea, and all other military threats throughout the world. It respects no borders, political or religious ideology, or military might. It shows no mercy and kills most of its victims. It doesn’t care whether its victims are rich or poor. And it has already killed here in the U.S. No one doubts the real threat it poses to this and other nations throughout the world. So why not declare medical war on this disease? Why are we not pouring more resources and money into it than we do to fight ISIS or other terrorist? Isn’t Ebola a greater mindless terrorist than any of the other terrorists we spend billions fighting?
If we direct the same amount of money fighting Arab terrorists to fight Ebola I feel confident we can find treatments to dramatically increase survival rates and ultimately a cure. I don’t think medical science has said that a cure cannot be found for Ebola. So it simply is a mater of how much resources we are willing to focus upon quickly finding treatments and cures for this deadly disease. Money can really create miracles. The more money is focused upon defeating Ebola the more resources can be focused upon quickly beat it. So why are we not putting our money where our fears are greatest?
Other fatal, debilitating, and disabling diseases such as heart and coronary disease, diabetes, cancers of all types, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, paralysis, etc. kill and disable infinitely more people than all terrorist acts put together yet we put more money into our military actions than all these diseases. Think of how many more lives could have been saved had we fought our real everyday enemies with as much money and resolve as we do with our military might. Who has not been effected directly or indirectly by these medical diseases compared to terrorists or military actions.
We need to spend our hard earned tax dollars more proportionately on things that have the greatest overall benefit.