Ebola isn’t a new virus; it was first discovered in 1976. In the mid-1990s there was a rather large outbreak, which is when I first became interested in it.
It’s not so surprising that I would find it interesting. I majored in Biology at UTSA with a concentration in Microbiology. I think that means that, had they had a degree program in Microbiology, then I would have a BS in Microbiology. I’ve always found viruses intriguing. And so I spent a lot of time reading about Ebola. And Marburg and a few others actually.
This was during my “I want to write fiction” phase. Honestly, I would still like to write fiction, I just haven’t felt that I have the right story nor the time to develop it. Back then I lived in Houston and belonged to a mystery writers group. I gave a presentation to the group on the hemorrhagic viruses – which includes Ebola and Marburg. I spoke from the standpoint of how one might use these viruses for devious purposes.
So,of course, my interest was piqued with the current Ebola outbreak. And there is a lot of misinformation going around. And even some sinister type suggestions that fall under the category of conspiracy theories. While I do believe the CDC and our government could be doing a better job, I cannot accept that Ebola is a plot against Americans. Let’s get real people!
So, I thought that I would write today to give some common sense suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself and your family. Here goes:
- Tin Foil Hats – Just Kidding. What you really need is a good BS detector. Remember that not everything you read on the internet is true. (Some have attributed that statement to Abe Lincoln.) I called out a facebook friend for sharing articles from obscure websites. That’s not bad by itself. But there were NO references within the article. Which says to me that the information is totally unsubstantiated. Be aware of what you’re reading. If you’re not sure, try searching the internet to see if you find that information elsewhere. If not, please don’t pass it on.
- Don’t Panic – but keep your family just a little closer
- Stay Well-Informed – Venture out to read news sites out of your usual comfort zone. No one news source has the whole picture. Different viewpoint will help you keep informed. Empower yourself with knowledge.
- Talk to your kids about Ebola. You may want to share this video – Staying Ebola Free – as an icebreaker.
- Wash your hands – with warm, soapy water
- Hand Sanitizer – for when you can’t wash your hands. – Normally, I am not a fan of hand sanitizers. Many of them contain ingredients that aren’t all that good for you. AND, they really aren’t a substitute for soap and warm water. They are good when you’re out and about and soap and warm water aren’t an option. By The Way – the biggest reason I avoid hand sanitizers is that they often reek of chemical fragrances. I found one at Babies R Us that is fragrance free!
- The Best Defense? A good offense. In this case that means eating super healthy. Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies; drinking plenty of water; avoiding sugar and processed foods. These will go a long way towards boosting your immune system to fight off anything they world throws at you!
What are your concerns about Ebola? Are you worried?