A major part of "paying attention" is digging for more information than the upfront reassurances; and then sorting our the nonsense. Can get very time consuming it you let it, of course.
Some things we "know" today, that have trickled down to us since yesterday-
The flight Thomas Duncan was on did not come directly from Monrovia, Liberia- he first flew to Brussels, spent about 7 hours in the airport there, then flew to Washington DC, Dulles airport, for another 6-7 hours (I hear) - then to Dallas and the health care debacle there.
IF the virus has mutated so that shedding of infectious particles now starts before the fever- and not only is there no barrier to that happening, but there is very high evolutionary pressure for it to happen right now- and quintillions of quintillions of virus particles to mutate- yes, he could have been shedding virus from Brussels on. As an evolutionary ecologist; the probability of that particular mutation happening is quite hight, and I would not be at all surprise if it has already happened. Such a mutation would escape all the barriers now in place to the virus spreading; they take your temperature; no fever? Go anywhere you want.
When I went to bed last night, we were hearing "one other person is now being confined", with no symptoms; and "there are 18 others being monitored." Today those sources say 100 may have been "exposed"; including children in 4 different elementary schools.
Frightening. No jokes. Really, truly, pay attention.
A very serious question: We have one air traveler we know walked through all the procedures, and wound up in genuine "big city", and then had the opportunity to infect others (almost certainly other family members will have caught it.) What if- this person had gone not to the USA; but to Mumbai? Mexico City? Nairobi? Shanghai?
The probability is increasing daily- that it has already happened.
There simply are NO good outcomes ahead. We're not yet to the point where global pandemic is certain; but we are closer, and so far nothing being done is going to prevent it.
After the last post here, reader Reuben asked this:
Greenpa, could you please fairly quickly do a post on how we should prepare? I don't mean bullets and bunker prepare, and I know that any one of us could end up sitting beside the person who turns out to be the patient in Dallas.
But, if this becomes a bigger thing, what sort of physical and behavioural precaustions make sense to prepare?N95 masks, rubber gloves and a water filter?
Yike. As I've already cited in a previous post, What would Greenpa do? - giving advice is dangerous to all concerned. All courses may go ill.
But. I'll tell you what I would do if I lived in Dallas.
If my kids were within one school of the 4 publicly mentioned, I would pull my kids out of school, now; and keep them out until officials announce all ebola is cleared from Dallas.
I would call my relatives or very close friends who live in a different city; at least 200 miles away; and ask if you could bring your family to stay with them "temporarily" in case of "emergency". And I'd figure out exactly how you're going to get there. Getting out ahead of a true outbreak is the best hope. Once a true outbreak is in progress; you will not be allowed to leave; and the military will be manning the roadblocks.
Stock up on bleach, 50 lb bags of dried beans, and some cash. You might reach a point where you don't want to open your door to anyone for a week, or two.
Folks, there's no guessing.
Two things for sure. 1) In a plague situation, people go crazy. Criminals become blatant and extremely violent very quickly; non-criminals may become criminal because they are terrified.
2) The con men have their plans all in place ready to go. They'll sell you cures, and "bug out" packages guaranteed to be everything you need- already going on. Saw one yesterday selling herbs to bolster your immune system. Pure bull.
You could hit a place where you are simply on your own.
The government can be very easily overwhelmed. The CDC is "responding with full force" to the Dallas event. They've sent 10 people.
I would give the Dallas authorities until they find 1 Ebola case in Dallas from someone they did not guess might be infected; and then I would go stay with my relatives for 2 weeks; and see how it goes.
Speed, and don't wait until it's for sure and obvious; that can be too late, and the roads will be closed.
So far; keep in mind all government responses have been to little too late- exactly as I predicted in my Aug. 8 post. That is not at all likely to change; anywhere in the world. 7 billion people- is not sustainable- as we all know; and this is one of the reasons why. We're food; and we've become an immense concentration of it.