Episode-1442- The Reality And The Hype of Ebola — 84 Comments

  1. Thank you for this show. I am so sick of trying to tell people the same thing. You articulate much better than I. Now I can just share your link.

  2. Thanks Jack. This “BREAKING NEWS” about Ebola is getting old. There is a forum thread with great commentary by Cedar and others. But I have to say the best thing I have seen was KC’s The Onion link. I almost lost a keyboard to nose-coffee ejection while reading #4. Again, thanks!

  3. I agree the risk of disease spread is low and will stay that way. But the CDC etc do oversimplify when they imply it is “only” spread by direct contact. The virus can live off the host as long as it has some bodily fluids to survive on. This doesn’t mean it will suddenly have the infection rate of an airborne virus, or anything close. But there could continue to be enough sporadic cases to have panic and economic effects.

    The Spanish healthcare worker becoming infected may also cause problems with getting treatments for others.

  4. These are a couple of points I have considered regarding the direct and indirect effects of ebola:

    1. The first case of ebola in the US caught the CDC and our medical system with its pants down. The Duncan family had to sit in their contaminated apartment until yesterday. Duncan himself was sent home by the hospital despite him telling them he was feeling sick and had just gotten here from Liberia.

    2. It is one thing for ebola to fester in a third world continent and a whole different thing for it to start popping-up in a first world countries. We are a lot more mobile and interconnected. The virus gains speed and geography in very little time the first world.

    3. Lastly, the I don’t fully buy the story that ebola is hard to get. So far the people who have gotten it, excluding Duncan, were medical professional who got it despite being fully geared. So either the virus does last a little long in the ambiance or it is one tough SOB that can survive outside a host for a long time.

  5. Great podcast. Agreed with all of it. Thanks for putting things in perspective, Jack. I talked about Ebola during dinner and we all ended up laughing at the hype.

    The disease is a bad one but the likelihood of getting bubonic plague is much more likely and I don’t see anyone in a panic over that. I think we get something like 15 cases a year of Plague in the USA.

    The last panic quarantine due to Plague was in 1900 when a Chinese man died of it in San Francisco. The authorities totally botched it mostly because they kept hoping it would go away instead of isolating the exposed cases and alerting the public in the normal manner. It might have broken out anyway but the public would have been mentally prepared.

    The way Ebola is being handled right now in Texas is that we are focusing too much on it and thus losing perspective. I can feel it happening. The doctors say the right things but they say it over and over again.

    I saw Gerry Willis on Fox and Friends this morning (a business news reporter) and she was giving tips on germ control in the workplace. She NEVER mentioned Ebola but she did mention that the worse case of germs at Fox News was a computer keyboard on one of the floors upstairs. Apparently it is attached to a computer used by several people.

    The message there was implied…. and you can guess what the message was. Panic! They never said it. It was all implied. I’ve seen this done in several ways on TV news with people trying to be helpful, but it’s not helping. Anyone who doesn’t know they should wash their hands regularly by now isn’t going to get the message.

    If you think you’ve been exposed, pitch a tent in your backyard and have your wife hand you food from the end of a broom handle. If you aren’t willing to do that then you don’t really believe it.


  6. If I want to be frightened of Ebola I’ll could just re-read those Tom Clancy novels… “Executive Orders” and if I really want to fall into a dead faint… “Rainbow Six”. 🙂

    “Executive Orders” does explore the problems of a federally mandated quarantine.

    Rainbow Six is just a rewrite of Executive Orders so that they could release a video game of the same name featuring “Ding” Chavez.

    I enjoyed the books but other than the idea of having terrorists use Ebola as a bio-terror weapon, they have little to do with the current outbreak. They are just good adventure reading.


  7. It was mentioned in the show, but not discussed at length….what about mutation to an airborne strain? I’m unfamiliar with this process, but it does concern me. Just because it hasn’t done so yet in Africa, doesn’t mean that the odds are the same here in the United States. Different circumstances, different environment.

    I’m not changing what I do or where I go, but I’m not willing to blow it off and forget about it just yet either.

    • Yea I did talk about it, remember when I talked about how it is possible that you could step in gum, then step on a scratch off ticket someone threw away and then find out you won 50,000 dollars, yea, its like that.

      For some reason people just want things to be worse then they already are.

      • Jack I think at some level people in general are sick of the direction the world is heading and are waiting for the SHTF to happen in hopes of a rebuilding a better more free society. Or a lot of people just love capitalizing on people’s fears. The there is always a little column A and a little column B.

    • I agree with Jack, it is unlikely to change into an air-borne disease, but right now all you need is for some terrorist to infect himself, get on a plane, look you up in the phone book, knock on your door and sneeze on you… but it probably won’t happen.

      Know what I mean?


    • Mutation from a fluid-dependent virus to “airborne” would fall in the “unheard of” category. But remember that even though ebola is not airborne, it isn’t strictly bloodborne either (HIV for example is strictly bloodborne). You could more likely see increased virulence and survival time on fomites. Another possible mutation would be if the strain that infects humans became more infectious to pigs (or vice versa). But even those are just “possibilities” just as it is possible for this year’s flu virus to be far worse than anything we have seen for a while.

      The take-home message is it doesn’t hurt do do a lot of hand-washing when you are out in public, and to also use this whole thing as an exercise to ask yourself if you are ready to “bug in” if and when a major epidemic (or panic) hits quickly.

      • Um no HIV is NOT strictly blood born. Strait from the CDC,

        Only certain fluids—blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.

        Note the big differences? Saliva, sweat and mucus! Those are really the three transmission mediums that are present in Ebola but not in HIV. Sweat by the way is HIGHLY UNLIKELY until the very final stages where viral counts are very high and most sweat has some blood in it too.

        • I do remember the “lottery ticket” analogy. It was a talking point over dinner with a friend. I just don’t understand what it takes to have something go “airborne” and would think that environmental differences between there and here could play a part, but for all I know, here it could make it HARDER to become airborne. When I first tuned in to listen today, I thought perhaps you’d go into the mechanics of that.

          Like I said, my day to day hasn’t changed. I certainly don’t want things to be worse, but just am not willing to turn off my interest. It was a good show, and tempers what we hear on the news with “matter of fact” information.

          Thanks, Dennis

        • Frankly it would be like AIDS going airborne. It is that big a leap. Now while it is true that Ebola and AIDS are different and AIDS doesn’t travel though saliva and mucus other than that they are damn similar in how they vector. So if you are worried Ebola is going to go airborne, you need to worry that every other virus that doesn’t do that might mutate and do it too. Hey and when you say,

          “I just don’t understand what it takes to have something go “airborne””

          I say well why don’t you find out, it isn’t hard, it is always good to learn something and when you do you may stop worrying. So here is your answer,

        • Jack, I should not have used the word “strictly” but
          “bloodborne” doesn’t just refer to where the virus can be. The Ebola virus reproduces in other tissues and unlike HIV is going to be in vomit, etc.

          What’s more important though in that subject, is that Ebola doesn’t need a fragile mucus membrane to infect you.

          My other concern is that science still hasn’t pegged the primary reservoir host for Ebola. It may be bats, but there are problems with that theory. In other words, there may be means of regional or global spread that we aren’t yet aware of.

  8. Comparing Ebola to heart disease and car accidents statistically is like comparing apples and oranges. The simple fact that Ebola is contagious makes the statistical comparison ridiculous. When was the last time heart disease increased 100% in a three week period? But I do agree with nearly all of Jack’s other points, especially installing fear for profits or attention.

    • No, no it doesn’t, odds are odds and statistics are statistics. What you are doing here is called a logical fallacy, it is a dog that most certainly does not hunt!

      • Odd, in regards to a logical fallacy….that is what I thought you were guilty of, hehe. All in one’s perspective I suppose.

    • Statistics can be misleading. If a car runs a red light in the city, that is not good but not something one would panic about. Yet if a second car ran a red light that year, that would be an increase of 100%.

      In a city of a million people, two cars running a red light is not something to panic about but a 100% increase in red light running is different! 🙂

      Statistics can be misleading…

      Let’s say that we had a problem with traffic violations last year:

      70% red light running (377 violations)
      20% speeding (107 violations)
      10% parking tickets (54 violations)

      Let’s focus on the major problem… red light running. We run commercials on TV, we have more officers at traffic lights and we have all the churches, synagogues and mosques give passionate pleas to stop this red-light running…. AND IT WORKS! In real terms we cut the number of red light running violations in half.

      So what are the statistics next year?

      54% red light running (189 violations, down only 16% ????)
      31% speeding (107 violations, up 11% ???)
      15% parking tickets (54 violations, up 5% ???)

      How could we cut red light running in half in real terms and yet only get a 16% decrease? And how can the other categories go up? They stayed exactly the same in real terms!

      Well… “the pie” got smaller and since the number of violations in the other categories remained the same, they became a larger portion of a smaller pie.

      That that is how statistics lie. You must take care to note what you are measuring and how you are measuring it.


      • And every argument here has been made in that light, an increase of X percent, etc. This doesn’t apply to the logic in today’s show even a tiny bit. This is the total population effected relative to the population as a whole. It is absolutely accurate right now to say a person in the US is twice as likely to die in an accident this year as a person in West Africa is to die of Ebola. There is nothing subjective about those facts.

        • I think I was agreeing with you, Jack.

          I was just commenting on the problem with statistics… any kind of statistic. It was a general comment.

          It is extremely unlikely (in a random sample) to find a person in the USA infected with Ebola. Thus if I wanted to become infected in the USA and I selected 10 people at random in the USA and kissed them full on the mouth, the chances of me getting Ebola are extremely small, vanishing to zero but my chances of getting slugged in the mouth go way up! 🙂

          If I went to Liberia and selected 10 random people and kissed them full on the mouth my chances of contracting Ebola would go up considerably because my sample size of 10 people changes the proportion in relation to the population size, but in real terms my chances of contracting the disease would still be very small.

          It’s like buying a lottery ticket. If I buy a lottery ticket my chances of winning the lottery are very small, but if I buy two lottery tickets I’ve doubled my personal chances of winning the lottery but the probability of winning the lottery was already very, very small so doubling my chances would still be a very small chance… almost negligible… because the set of number combinations for the lottery is large.

          Thus, even though the population of Liberia is much smaller than the population of the USA, it is still very large and the number of Ebola cases in Liberia in relation to its population size is still very small.

          So I agree. I am more likely to get run over by a bus.

          Oh… what’s that sound?


        • My response was more to TJ I was just using your response to make my point.

          Now because you just made yourself such an easy target I have to take the shot, your assertion that,

          “Thus if I wanted to become infected in the USA and I selected 10 people at random in the USA and kissed them full on the mouth, the chances of me getting Ebola are extremely small, vanishing to zero but my chances of getting slugged in the mouth go way up! 🙂

          If I went to Liberia and selected 10 random people and kissed them full on the mouth my chances of contracting Ebola would go up considerably because my sample size of 10 people changes the proportion in relation to the population size, but in real terms my chances of contracting the disease would still be very small.”

          Assumes that 10 random people would be willing to kiss you, so either way I’d say your odds are pretty low. LMAO

        • Oh… I don’t know, Jack. When I take a bath I clean up pretty good. 🙂

          “‘To each his own,’ said the old lady as she kissed her cow.”

          If the old lady would kiss a cow, why not me? Moo… 🙂

        • Going to preface this with that fact that I’m more worried about what I’m having for lunch than ebola. That said, I took a slightly different statistical view on this. Considering that there are 8011 confirmed cases in the three most affected countries with a combined population of just over 22 million, that would be .036% of the population that’s infected. Sounds tiny until we project that % to the population of the US. With 316 million people in the US, .036% infected would be 115,067 people. So it may be a small percentage but when we consider what that number would look like here with a 50% mortality rate, our nation would be in utter chaos. Again, I don’t believe that this is something to worry about in our country but I believe the media outlets are trying to play on the fear they see in West Africa and bring that here – that’s what’s infectious.

    • enjoyed the podcast agree with your view that is being over hyped, but I would make one comment on your statistical analysis – exponential growth can and will bite you in the @ss if you turn your back on it. The physicalworld as we experience it (for the most part) appears to operate with linear rates of change. A human interacting with anything expecting a linear rate of change but gets an exponential rate of change always is surprised/injured/killed.

      • Bumping this. The virus doubles cases about every 3 weeks. This absolutely is why Ebola is a problem in the future. Not so much as a pandemic, but as a rising economic and terrorist threat, just as Jack was saying. Although I am expecting 2-10% of the globe may die, just like the Spanish Flu.

        Jack’s comments toward the beginning of the show comparing your likelihood of being infected to cancer totally missed this. I know Jack is an intelligent fellow and I kept expecting him to say it in the show, but he didn’t, which was a huge disappointment.

        Here’s a better link that explains exponential function:

        • The truth disappoints you? Well start by not changing what I said, I never said infected with cancer, everyone knows it is not contagious, I said DIE of cancer, and other things.

          No the rate of infection of Ebola isn’t going to double every 3 weeks for months on end, stop reading BULLSHIT by people that make a living scaring you and by the way ASSHOLES who are simply parroting MIKE ADAMS who may be the biggest yellow journalist in modern times!

          No 2 percent of the world will not fucking die of Ebola.

          I swear to God some of you people want a global catastrophe so bad for some weird reason you create them in your head any chance you get.

        • Jack, there must be a misunderstanding.
          1.) “The truth disappoints you?” No sir, that’s not what I said. Please have another look at my comment.

          2.) “I never said infected with cancer” Neither did I. Please have another look at my comment.

          3.) “No the rate of infection of Ebola isn’t going to double every 3 weeks for months on end” It already has. I see no reason to suppose it won’t continue the same trend, do you?

          4.) “stop reading BULLSHIT by people that make a living scaring you and by the way ASSHOLES who are simply parroting MIKE ADAMS who may be the biggest yellow journalist in modern times” I don’t read Mike Adams, he is a yellow journalist.

          I think perhaps you read my comments too quickly? Please slow down, go back, and have another look.

          Another caveat: Viruses prefer cold and dry environments, not tropical ones.

        • I mean, viruses are viable longer in cold/dry environments. (Lest there be a confusion over semantics.)

        • And so that I’m not misunderstood, I really enjoyed this show. You said almost everything I’ve been saying to others from the beginning, but better than I have, and so I’ve shared it with others. This note about exponential growth is only an important caveat but not in any way dismissing the bulk of the information you presented.

          Also, I didn’t get my estimate of 2-10% death rate from any yellow journalist. It was my own conclusion based on the virus’s R0 (basic reproduction number) which is actually a bit higher than flu, so I assumed the Spanish Flu would be a good comparison.

          It’s dangerous, but it’s not the end of the world.

  9. On the bright side, ebola has been around since 1976. If it was going to turn into a pandemic, it would have done so already. So it’s probably not going to happen.

    In most likelihood when a pandemic grabs hold of the world, we’ll be neck deep in it before we realize it.

    • Thank you for grasping that! It is why I made it part of the show, I try not to always spell out every tiny thing.

    • Jose, I agree that Ebola isn’t likely to become a pandemic. But it’s not because it’s been around since 76. Emerging and re-emerging diseases spread for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s mutation and adaptation of the virus, but sometimes it’s environmental changes. The ongoing increase in tickborne disease, for example, has little to do with the disease. It’s a side effect of the methodolgy used to repopulate white-tail deer.

      Because the natural reservoir host for Ebola isn’t known, there are still plenty of questions about its future…… but that’s true for any disease.

      No need to panic, but don’t be dogmatic in writing it off either.

      • Kim,

        I don’t mean to sound dogmatic, but it is what it is. The virus is here, so far contained. Worrying about it won’t help. I’m glad this virus is not spreading rampantly. Hopefully, people put away a little food and water and lots of towels and sheets. Duncan’s niece said that before she called 911, she had gone to Wal-Mart to get a blanket for Duncan. At first I thought, who doesn’t have a spare blanket for a guest. Then it dawned on me that most likely Duncan had already soiled every blanket and towel in the house.

        The most significant change in environment I see for ebola is that it has jumped the pond into Europe and America, both very mobile and interconnected societies. That alone has increased the speed of the virus and the territory it covers. An infected businessman can travel from Dallas to India, a country that has little connection to Africa. Frist world countries bridge that gap between third world countries.

        A virus’ sole mission in life is to spread and that innate impetus should never be underestimated. The risk pigeonholing ebola to a set of symptoms and transmission paths is dangerously complacent. I have always, for example, if I see someone sneeze in a store changed aisles regardless.

        Perhaps the medical staff that have gotten infect were careless with their gear or perhaps the virus is just a little more resilient outside a host than expected. It doesn’t matter, all I have is universal precautions to fight with. So dogma or not I have to continue life without a biosuit. If things start getting out of control (for real), I would not hesitate for a minute to pull the kids out of school and hunker down for a couple of months. I have food, the ability to work from home and a nice edible garden. With this early warning there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not to have at least a month of rice, pasta and beans put away for this or any other emergency.

  10. I had to shake my head when you reminded me of Mike Adams. He happened to be a fellow classmate at a tactical firearms class I attended a couple of years ago. I recall the guy being a pretty decent shooter so it’s really absurd that he made guns and issue with you. We were not taking training for beginners so no doubt the dude loves his guns and the use of them. That aside, GREAT show as always Jack. It’s always rewarding when I am able to turn people on to your podcast. This one will be perfect for opening more eyes. Cheers from Austin!

    • What can I say the guy is two faced! When it is convenient he advocates the second amendment, when it comes to dollars he turns his back. Some day I hope to get to tell him to his face what I told him in an email,

      “you sir are a coward”

      He is, that is the only way to describe this sort of behavior. Either you back the right to keep and bare arms or you don’t. There are places where it gets gray for sure but on a site you own and control it is pretty black and white. His latest piece on Ebola was such bullshit.

      Here is one that is even worse, headline, “Oregon Criminalizes Permaculture”! If there was ever a load of steaming bullshit, this is one.

      That article clearly was headlined to attract people from the Permaculture demographic because it perhaps popped up on a SEO report or something. I doubt Adams could even define permaculture.

  11. Thank you so much! I have already seen people losing their heads over it. I have also seen other in the survival community helping to spread nonsense. Thanks for spreading some truth.

  12. I agree about Mike Adams. I enjoyed reading his health articles 10 years ago. Back then he seemed genuinely credible, honest and informative. Through the years I watched him go down hill to a point where I can no longer tolerate his fear mongering (the Alex Jones route).

  13. You might be surprised at how many of your listeners would skew to the left when forced into the dichotomy. We are the productive hippie faction 🙂 I bet there are lots of independent left-ish folks in the audience. Peace!

    • Left-v-Right is tricky because there are so many issues to sort into the dichotomy.
      Generally “left” is associated with a willingness to see bigger government “fix” things whereas the “right” is generally in favor of people being responsible for themselves…and thus tend to be fans of Jack’s message. However, there are plenty of folks snoozing in both camps.

      D-v-R is a completely useless dichotomy because they play to the L/R marketing, but that doesn’t mean much when they are on the job and triangulate to keep their jobs.

      I do believe in some core principles like a limited Federal government, but I’m excited about finding common ground outside the Matrix where we can focus on creating solutions for ourselves as part of a diverse community.

      • well put. i had a big awakening when i realized the left/dems [where i came ‘from’] wanted to do all the ‘good’ stuff i believed in, using government… i was lefty because i was against racism, against homophobia, etc. i believed in progress! i didn’t realize [i know, deems stupid, repubs evil..] that only the government could create progress! i keep arguing with deems that if they hate half the country & their reps, how can this government work? i have the same values as i always have, but now realize not only is gov not the way to make world better, it in fact causes much of the problem.

        • Boom…that’s it.
          I try to help people realize the big-government Rs (i.e. Newt) are not trustworthy. The scale of government intervention is a fair test…Fascism/Communism on one end and anarchy on the other….not left = Communism and Right = Fascism….they are just two sides of the same oppressive government machine.

          It’s cool that we can find some agreement that meaningful change starts with individuals and works up…not top down.

          My other pet peeve is that people in government seem to like to be “charitable” with other people’s money.
          …it generally ends up making a mess.

      • There are areas where the left would like to see smaller government (at least in theory): policing sexuality, drug policy, military budget, subsidies to big business and big agriculture. However, I know it doesn’t work like that in practice.

    • recovered leftist/dem here! i grew up in Philly & moved to NYC after college, so I kinda have an excuse. could have been worse of course… i coulda been a republican!

  14. So my wife just sent me the:
    The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
    Lie #1) Ebola won’t ever come to the United States
    Lie #2) Ebola is only spread via direct contact with body fluids
    Lie #3) Don’t worry: Health authorities have everything under control
    Lie #4) The only defense against Ebola is a vaccine or a pharmaceutical drug
    Lie #5) Ebola came out of nowhere and was a random fluke of nature

    I came see to the comments to see the discussion, and saw that’s the Mike Adams site Jack called out…so I get that Mike is a huckster, but I also think the government does withholding info about some things to avoid creating havoc in the Matrix.

    So what’s the balance?
    Where can we get the most accurate info about this type of thing?

    • Jack’s mentioned this a couple episodes back. Basically take several sources, I think he said to compare Any US MSM (NBC, CNN, Fox) compare it to Al-Jazeera and then Russia Today. Should be able to cut the spin out by finding the main story in the overlap. But the more sources the better, even Natural News has some truth. The problem there is, like everywhere, Mike’s agenda; in this case to work people into a frenzy and buy crap on impulse. I think his motives were good in the beginning, but now a lot of alternative sites will recycle old stats and links that fit the emergency of the week, to remain relevant. (The no gun advertising thing is a side story where Mike thinks his audience is scared of guns. He might do a service to his audience by educating them, as I don’t think he’d lose the readership he thinks.)

  15. I spent a year in Liberia. Their heakthcare system is abysmal. I walked the floors of JFK hospital in Monrovia and frankly was deeply moved by the lack of sanitation. Their transporation sector is almost exclusively taxis and motorcycle taxis. The Liberians cram in these transpo vehicles real tight. Their open markets are wall to wall people, where bush meat such as bat and monkey is available. Some, especially in the rural areas, are very superstitious, blending religion with vodoo. The average joe has minimum education. They also get 180″ plus rainfall, pretty much forcing people indoors during rainy season. They have many more people in housing on average than we do. They drink water in common well areas, where people bring whatever jug with all the kids to play and work around the wells. They had two funeral homes I counted for Monrovia, most people bury their own. The only working ambulance service was out of Firestone Corporation, and they ran 2 trucks for the entire area.

    The point is they have good conditions for a pandemic like this to strike.

    If you want to help find a church organization, or an NGO such as Doctors Without Borders to donate.

    If you think we can just pull out of Liberia and it will go away is just silly. There are thousands of Americo-Liberians that travel back and forth from Liberia to the US. The world is a lot smaller, and anything that happens along the seams of the West African Country borders such as Lofa County, Liberia with Sierra Leone will potentially reach us.

    What bothers me is some of the comments have little historic and current contextual history. The Liberians actually LIKE us, very hard to find these days.

    Stop worrying about Ebola, and if you are concerned, donate cash or your time to West African Countries.

  16. Thanks for the show. Ive had to delete numerous pages from FB for promoting lies and false information.

  17. Holy crap Jack! In the last few minutes of the show, when you were talking about being prepared, etc. is just being a responsible damn adult, you fricken nailed man! Right on the head! Why do people not get this?

    If even told a coworker of mine to come listen to that part. He agreed wholeheartedly! He’s there mentally. He’s almost there when it comes to acting on what he knows he should be doing. I’m just always there with the spurs when I get a chance.

    Keep rockin on Jack!

  18. Thank you for not contributing to all the nonsense that’s out there right now!

    Make no mistake, we will have a major pandemic at some point, but nobody knows when and this is a very, very, very unlikely candidate. Believe me, if it gets out of control, it will be brought back under control pretty quickly but most people won’t like how.

    I’ve been dismayed at the hysteria that I’ve seen from people I know on facebook or through emails – people that should fear heart disease or diabetes more than ebola.

    I think there’s also some misconception out there about bio-terror agents and their classifications. Agents are class A for various reasons, but some of them are on there not so much for their lethality or their ability to spread, but for their ability to induce terror – hence the name “bio-terror.” Things like Ebola scare the living shit out of people and hence make a good bio-terror agent.

    A big outbreak of “highly infectious shit your pants disease” might shut everything down for a while and keep everyone glued to the toilet but just doesn’t have that immediate impact like something that kills quick and gruesome. In fact, that’s how an enormous amount of people die every day, mostly children, and most people barely give it two thoughts about it.

    My wife’s aunt was worried like crazy a couple of years ago about West Nile, and I tried to remind her that the most dangerous thing she does every day is drive to work. She didn’t buy it.

    Having said that, I know someone that died last year of West Nile. However, I know of many more that died of cancer, heart disease, or various complications of old age. It’s always good to remember that it’s a very dangerous world, but there’s only so much you can do and then you have to just live……..,well, until you die one one day. And you will:)

    Good show!

    Good show

  19. Great pod cast, again. However I had to shut it off mid way, as it was a non issue. So I’m watching ‘The Holy Grail’ Monty Python instead. Great training film!
    I spent 3 months in Nigeria in ’85 with the army. I can tell you some stories of the difference in cultures. What I heard on your show is too true. Sorry I cut you off. It is that much of a non issue.

  20. I believe Jack nails it on the media and problems with our current media not acting as a watchdog against corruption and the State.

    However, with the recent new Ebola patient in Texas of a nurse who cared for the Ebola patient that died. I would take the approach of believing the sensationalism and treating all threats in its potential worst-case-scenario.

    Now controlling fear is the key to making sound decisions. Moreover, Ebola absolutely could be airborne. I certainly don’t trust my government or its institutions to protect me and my family.

    • I think the only thing one could say about the incident of a nurse catching Ebola is that caring for an Ebola patient in close quarters is very dangerous… even in a “moon suit”.

      I’ve heard some expert doctors say that we really don’t know much about how Ebola would act in a city environment such as the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex. This reminds me of the AIDS epidemic all those years ago. We knew so little.

      I suppose the “moon suit” didn’t work somehow or more likely as she was taking it off she/they flubbed the procedure. I can’t image this procedure happening without supervision of help from a fellow nurse or technician.

      Frankly, all it would take would be to remove one’s helmet and touch some mucus or blood and then rub your eyes. After being in a moon suit it would be so automatic the nurse probably didn’t even realize it.

      So… the lesson is… it’s dangerous to treat a person with full-blown Ebola in a hospital. Maybe the staff needs more training. Maybe the “moon suit” is damaged. Who knows?

      I was shocked to hear our public officials blame the nurse herself for this screw up. He took that back later, and he probably meant well, but somehow, given this Administration, it was a foolish thing to say.

      And the nurse’s dog?

      It’s a dog! I know people cringe when they think about killing a dog, but we aren’t grinding up live puppies. We are talking about a dog and our intentions to stop this outbreak. If our leadership can’t make the hard choices then we need new leadership.

      Here is a short article from USA Today…

      “Unlike in Spain, Dallas Ebola patient’s dog will be saved”


      • Good points Alex. I think there are people that for some F’d up reason wish to believe the “its going airborne man” or what ever and point to the health care workers getting it in despite protection in IGNORANCE as proof they are right. I think for many it is “prepping justification”, they need a specific threat to feel what they do is valid.

        Here is what people don’t get, Ebola kills with HEMORRHAGIC FEVER fancy way of saying BLEEDING FEVER.

        The doctors and nurses with the stones to care for dying Ebola patients are real heroes, I don’t know that I would do it. Every day an Ebola patient lives the concentration of virus goes up and the amount of fluids they exudate goes up. They literally become more contagious by the hour at the end where they either turn and make it or die.

        As for it being “her fault”, the truth is I don’t know but there is no need to say it so directly as that assclown did. Simply saying it may be a breech in protocol is enough and that leaves who is to blame where it belongs, in the we don’t really know yet category.

        So let’s say she took off the clothing incorrectly. Let’s assume that is how it happened. Does it make it her fault? May be and may be not. If she was trained properly and then broke protocol she gets some blame in the end. If she did as she was trained, well, no it is in no way her fault. In any event the woman to me is a true hero, risking her life willingly for the sake of another. That is a real hero, a great example of why I get so pissed when people call a person that teaches children to add 2+2 a hero.

  21. @Alex Shrugged
    I doubt she was wearing a “moon suite” but just general PPE and probably a face mask and not a respirator. This is a mistake, in my opinion. You wouldn’t see someone in an ebola lab with a facemask on.

    I can tell you that putting on full PPE and then taking it back off is not something you can just read guidelines about and then hop to it. It does actually take practice and some coaching to get it down correctly and there’s lots of places where infection could occur, mainly while taking it off.

    You might like this:

  22. So one has infected two. Not just any two, but two healthcare workers with training and equipment in the good ol USA. Not that I can do anything different to change things, but I worry what the effect on healthcare workers will be if more cases continue.
    I have a child in the Peds ICU at a major hospital that would certainly see patients from our area. While the blame nursing game has been the past few days, It was interesting to see the CDC talking in hindsight about sending teams with higher levels of protection to treat the patient – I wonder what is stopping them now?

    ‘ I’ve always felt that the issue of airborne transmission was more a question of semantics than anything else. Ebola is well known to be transmittable by inhalation. Droplets of blood, vomit, mucus, saliva, and other fluids spewed into the air by a patient and then inhaled by another can certainly transmit the virus. Therefore, ebola can be caught through the air. The question is: Can you get it by simply breathing the air in the room and airplane where an ebola patient is present.
    The answer is still “probably not likely”, but the CIDRAP report changes that to “probably not likely, but possible”. ‘

    • Fricken Bones is getting a trip to Jack’s wood shed when I see him next month. Overall the article is fair but in the next paragraph he says,

      “CIDRAP also calls into question whether N95 respirator masks are effective in preventing inhalation of airborne Ebola virus.”

      There is no “airborne ebola virus” in the way the phrase is taken by 99.9% of people that would use or hear it INCLUDING doctors. There is not going to be a wide spread pandemic with tens of thousands infected and in communes, etc and Bones knows this!

      Damn it Bones, tread lightly good sir. I know you mean well but you should be clear how low the risk of actual spread in the way it is feared really is!

      • Hi jack, you rascal!

        The well-respected Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy(cidrap) at the u. Of Minnesota begs to differ, and declared to both the CDC and WHO that even exhaled breath is included. CIDRAP thinks we shouldn’t call it airborne, but “aerosol transmissible”. This still includes microscopic particles, though. I’ll send you the links soon as I can.

        Having said that, Ebola greatly prefers bodily secretion routes, and I agree with just about everything you say, which proves I am 100% bat#%^{ crazy. I mean that in the sincerest and nicest way possible!

        Friends can agree to disagree on some subjects, but we are closer than you think on this topic.

        All the best,


        • Bones, please listen to this episode, only about 20 minutes of it just start at about 31:30 into it. I explain the nonsense being spread and why “you can get it without direct phyical contact” is true but why airborne is 100% the wrong term for it. The reality is Ebola is most contagious for about the last three days before the person dies. Such a person is NOT walking around, flying on planes, taking buses, they are flat on their back, hemorrhaging, etc. This is why nurses and such get infected.

          This is also why the original US Patient zero lived in an apartment with his large family that even cleaned up his vomit and YET no one in his family got it.

    • I fully agree with your level headed assessment of the Ebola threat in the US compared to the horrible sanitation and infection fanning culture in West Africa.

      However, what about our culture of political correctness and normalcy bias combined with the rate at which we interact with each other in crowds?

      I agree an ebola based pandemic is unlikely but isn’t it a bit over confident to say it can’t happen here? I think if people do enough stupid things, we could have a real mess as well as all the other fear-based puckering that will happen.

      Who wants to get onto an airplane in Dallas knowing the CDC authorized an exposed symptomatic health care worker to board a plane?

  24. No, it’s not airborne, although that term runs a spectrum, but it’s not airborne like we all knew airborne to be before all the panic.

    I don’t think the CIDRAP commentary is being alarmist, although people may react that way to it. It’s a protocol issue and like many things it’s standard to operate one step up from the known danger, not in even parallel. You don’t want to go too overboard, especially if it begins to affect your ability to work or is simply too costly with no justification, but one step above makes a lot of sense and is nothing new.

    Personally, I think it makes all the sense in the world to wear a N95 respirator if you’re working with a possible infection. A lab technician would look at you like you were crazy if you asked them to work with ebola without at least a respirator over your mouth and of course they wear much more, but if it’s considered minimal for a lab situation then there’s no reason to not do the same in a hospital with a known infection.

    Now, they do wear surgical masks, especially in Africa where ebola is present, but man the situation for them is not good. They would wear them if they had them. Some of them are just asking for freakin gloves.

    It’s not fear, it’s just covering your bases so you can do your job another day.

  25. Jack, I’ve been trying to look around for the MOS’s that are being sent over there, and have had no luck in finding what you did. Where did you get the information about a majority of them being Combat Engineers? I’ve found 8 for them and no specifics for other personnel.

    • I supported the Engineers I was not one of them. My MOS was 63S which is a Heavy Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic. Apparently it never came up to strength so I think like 10 years back 63S, 63B and 63W were all combined to one MOS under 63W. Such people could be with any and all units. Can’t pull any Engineering MOS numbers out of my head but it would be anything from Heavy Equipment Operators to Carpenters, etc.

      For the record I found many of them to be NOBs if you know what that means.

  26. Though it doesn’t have the criteria to become a pandemic, it seems like there will be quite a few more people sick than need to be due to politics and stupidity.

    Ebola, pandemic, stupidity of public officials and large groups…which threat is more significant for us?

    About Nigerian Passenger Who Reportedly Vomited, Died on Flight to JFK

  27. 4 symptoms of Ebola FUBAR by Allen West
    Support for Jack’s point that an underlying thing we should be concerned about is our government’s inability to manage an outbreak that could be easily contained.
    I think it would be wise for all of us to consider the full ramifications of a real highly contagious and highly debilitating or fatal pathogen getting loose in the US. It’s fair to say the government will make it worse, not better, so we’ll be on our own. What will that look like for us personally?