Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ebola - First Hand Reports from Dallas and Africa

While this blog is devoted to following events that may lead to monetary system change, we did mention that ebola could actually have an impact on the global economy and the US economy if it were to continue to spread and people lost trust in the health care system's ability to contain it. 

Since Dallas has become a focal point for the world lately on this topic, I can offer a first hand report on how the average person is reacting here. Also, my daughter is a journalism major and just wrote this interesting article about someone who has seen the disease first hand in Africa. Those who battle this disease on the front lines deserve our utmost respect.

Here in the Dallas area most people are alert to the situation and you hear people talking about it quite a bit. But I still see no evidence that it is having any great impact on people's daily routines. So far only health care workers in direct contact with the disease have come down with it. Most people understand that. 

You do see things being done out of "an abundance of caution" such as a few schools closing for a day to get a thorough cleaning if anyone at their school had indirect contact (like a few people who were on the plane from Cleveland with the 2nd nurse who got ebola). Some businesses in the area around the hospital have seen a dropoff in business.

You also hear some frustration that the authorities did not take the problem more seriously quicker and move to isolate potential victims sooner. The hospital directly involved in the situation has taken a big public relations hit and will probably suffer a significant loss of patients for awhile. Even some of the staff there are not very happy at how things were handled.

On the whole however, most people are not overly concerned at this point. I see no evidence that business overall in the area is being heavily impacted or lower attendance at public events for example.

Where all this could (and probably would) change is if people in the community start showing up with ebola who have no known direct contact with those who already have the disease. If that were to happen, I suspect the mood would change and we see widespread school closings, business at public places drop off, more people working from home, etc.

The next three weeks will be critical here. The first 48 people directly exposed to the man who died here from ebola are just about past their 21 day watch period with none showing any symptoms. If they are not infected, the pool of people left to watch will mostly be those who worked at the hospital and anyone they may have been around. But those people are considered to be very low risk at this point. So if there are no new cases in the next three weeks this area may have dodged the bullet this time. Let's hope so.

What this event does do is provide us some insight as to how people may react to potential crisis. So far here, the reaction by the public has been reasonable and without major panic. Let's hope it stays that way.

Update 10-22-14: Some good news here, Bentley is ebola free!

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