Posts Tagged ‘Contagion’

Let’s get to the point–the US is woefully and inadequately prepared for mass cases of Ebola.  The individual case in Dallas is enough to show that even given the proper protocols, health workers are still at risk.  Now consider that the hospital failed to properly diagnose Mr Duncan on his first visit.  If these can happen in a world-class facility in Dallas, your local hospitals and clinics are even less prepared to deal with Ebola!

Taking a page from history, here’s the next point.  Inmates are secluded from the general population on Rikers Island such that even an escapee from the facility has a natural barrier between him and society.  The same principal was applied at Alcatraz.  In more recent times, we have the detainees in Guantanamo.  On the civil side of the point, Ellis Island served as a landing zone and allowed introduction of only the “qualified” into the country.  Now fast forward.  We have already deployed military resources to help in Africa.  It is time to deploy them here as well.

The recommendation I’d put forward is to station a Naval hospital ship offshore–a few miles perhaps off of the Carolinas.  Staff it with military trained to deal with Ebola cases–the decontamination processes are not that foreign as military are trained for decon from Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological (NBC) environments anyway.  Any and all diagnosed cases–even strongly suspected ones–are transported to and housed on the ship.  It’s a well-controlled, self-contained environment with the ability to receive supplies and patients via helicopter.

If we fail to contain Ebola cases early on, the risk of it being widely introduced into the general population is high.  Once that happens, facilities and healthcare workers will be quickly overwhelmed, only adding to the risks.

The US is running out of time to develop a strategy for containment and treatment.  Start this plan now and we may save hundreds if not thousands of lives!


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Central Indiana has been so dry lately that we’ve been begging for rain.  Late Sunday afternoon, the clouds were moving in from the west and it was pretty certain that rain was on its way.  Steph and I had gone to see  Contagion and as we came out, I told her that rain was indeed on its way.

As I go back and forth to St Louis, sometimes I leave on Sunday night, other times, Monday morning.  It really depends on a lot of things.  This weekend, after I confirmed that my Monday  8:30 am meeting was cancelled, I opted to stay the night.  I got to sleep sometime around 11:30—not ideal having to get up so early to drive back but it works.

The rain came in sometime after midnight.  It was probably around 3:00 that something woke me up.  It could have been the indigestion from dinner at IHOP or it could have been the sound of the rain coming down.  Whichever, I couldnt’ fall asleep and stay asleep.  Around 3:15 though, I heard another sound that startled me—it just didn’t sound right.  As I got up, it was certain that I was hearing rain.  But then I opened my bedroom door.  It was the unmistakable sound of water.  It sounded as if someone was in the upstairs bathroom and taking an early shower.  Problem is, the bathroom door was open and the lights were off.  I ran up the stairs and looked in the bathroom.  Not seeing anything, I thought that the sound must be the new water softener.  Problem is that it’s in the basement.  I turned on the light.  The floor was sopping wet!

Where it was coming from was another mystery.  The shower was off, the sinks were off.  I moved further in.  There was water spewing from the supply line to the toilet bowl.  A quick twist-twist and that was the end of the leak.  Unfortunately, this bathroom is on the second level, above the kitchen.  I ran downstairs–more water!  And water in the pantry!  In the half bath!  That means water in the basement.  The water leak was NOT what I wanted to hear at 3:15 in the morning!

So here we are, 17 hours later!  The basement is almost dry.  The kitchen looks like a remodeling job.  The island is being pulled up so that the linoleum can be pulled up and the sub-floor dried out.  The fridge has to be pulled out—the stove too.  The ceiling will be pulled down.  To help dry things out, the work crew is building containment units upstairs and on the main level.  You know the type—if not, go see Contagion.  There’s wood framing with plastic sheeting, taped and closed off.  The dining room will have a zipper built into the plastic so that we can get in and out but for the most part, Benny’s room, upstairs bathroom, and adjoining section of hallway are being closed off.  They’ll set up blowers and dehumidifiers in the containment zone.  On the main level, it’s the half bath, pantry, kitchen, adjoining hallway, and about a third of the great room.  We’ve moved the piano and furniture.  Pots and pans line the dining room table.  You’d think we were being quarantined and locked down.

An option was given for us to take a hotel room but we’ll rough it out.  There’s too much involved in trying to move school kids back and forth, and then we have Gracie, our 11-year-old Dane.  Nah, as challenging as it may be, we need to stay here.  We’ll figure out how to manage and we’ll have a nice, dry house by the end of the week—I hope.

Oh!  So water got into the furnace.  Not that we need the heat today, but no luck if we did.  And no luck if we needed the AC either.

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