Friday, October 24, 2014

No, Really, We Swear, Trust Us...

De Blasio urged  New Yorkers not to panic, and reemphasized multiple times along with other officials that Ebola is only transmitted through bodily fluids.
“We want to state at the outset – there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” de Blasio said.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, EMS crews picked up Spencer just after noon Thursday. He was rushed from a building on West 147th Street in Hamilton Heights where he lives, and taken to Bellevue by a procession of two city ambulances and a police squad car.
Spencer, a 33-year-old physician who works with Doctors Without Borders, came back a week ago from Guinea where he is believed to have been treating Ebola patients.
At the news conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said officials believe Spencer came in contact with four people during the time he was infected and symptomatic, and state officials are already talking to those four people.
Those four people include Spencer’s fiancĂ©e and two friends – all of whom are healthy, but have still been quarantined, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett said.
The fourth person who is in contact with the state is the driver of an Uber car, which Spencer took when he went bowling Wednesday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bassett said. The Uber driver had no direct contact with Spencer, and is not believed to be in any danger, she said.
Uber issued a statement indicating that it also contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the city Health Department, which said the driver and subsequent passengers were not at risk.
So, who knew that the NY Subways were so safe and body-fluid free??
Or that taxis, one of the biggest culprits in spreading Ebola throughout Monrovia, Freetown, and Conkary for months now, are magically more sanitary and safe in NYC??
Thank heavens CDC experts were on hand to downplay fears, because they've proven so insightful and well-informed on all their health care decisions and judgment calls on Ebola in the US to date.

(My apologies if beverages flying out your nose burned right there.)

After all, it's not like them suddenly not having to bother trying to contact-trace a few tens of thousands of NYC subway riders, or a few dozen car service passengers, makes their government jobs a wee bit easier today, is it? It isn't like all those people left untraced could come back to bite an entire megalopolis in the ass in 2-21 days, is it?
Nah, that's all just crazy talk. Everything will probably be fine.
It's definitely true that no one has ever died from subway-acquired Ebola in Liberia.
(Just as no one in NYC has ever been trampled by an elephant or eaten by lions.)
The whole "not feeling well for two days" thing doesn't count as "symptomatic" because mere symptoms aren't what they meant when they say "symptomatic".

Wait, what?

And if you shared sweaty-fingered bowling balls with Doctor Perfectly Followed The Protocols, you've got nothing to worry about.

What could possibly go wrong with all that? After all, why be prudent, when you can just as easily throw all caution to the winds with a deadly pathogen that was traipsed around the city since Tuesday? Obviously, it isn't like Mayor DeBlasio or Gov. Cuomo ride those subway cars or in that taxi, and they sure as hell won't be bowling anytime soon.
So you can trust them about this.

Spencer went for a three-mile jog and visited a bowling alley in Brooklyn named The Gutter prior to feeling symptomatic Thursday morning, Bassett said. The bowling alley has been closed. He also traveled on three subway lines. Authorities are checking his MetroCard to determine where else he went.
"At the time that the doctor was on the subway he did not have fever ... he was not symptomatic," according to Bassett, who said the chances of anyone contracting the virus from contact with Spencer were "close to nil."
De Blasio and Bassett were joined by Gov. Cuomo at a news conference to allay concerns about the spread of the virus, especially via public transportation.
Sounds good, right? So about ten paragraphs later, they slip this turd in the punchbowl:
The doctor began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, but it wasn't until Thursday, when he developed 100.3-degree fever, that he contacted Doctors Without Borders, authorities said.The health department said a special ambulance unit transported a patient suffering from a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.
For anyone not getting it (like Mayor De Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, "feeling sluggish" is
lethargy, which those in the medical arts refer to as a symptom.
Coincidentally, it's listed on most medical summaries as a symptom of Ebola.

The doctor exhibited symptoms of the Ebola virus for "a very brief period of time" and had direct contact with "very few people" in New York, de Blasio told reporters.
"The goal right now is to make sure people don't panic," he said.
Which explains why despite telling people that the risk is "near nil", the bowling alley is closed, the car driver is on watch, and the authorities are busily checking his Metro card record of travels. They aren't being prudent, they're lying, and covering their asses, so that if/when their bullshit bites them there, they can spring into action with some vague idea of where the next 1, or 10, or 100 patients will be coming from.

They hope.

It's clear from this effort that the mayor of NY and the Governor are not about to repeat the mistakes of officials in Dallas.

They're setting out to commit entirely NEW ones!


  1. Love your writing. I too am wondering how 'not feeling well' doesn't count as symptomatic. I'm also wondering how someone with a supposed medical degree could be this stupid- oh yeah, we have the tv doctor and the wedding nurse...

  2. I've worked in healthcare since 1990.
    We have our 10% just like anyone else. It's just that it seems Ebola work attracts the stupid people like moths to a flame, and the normal malpractice weedouts don't avail.

  3. As always, the real question is:

    Does this thing only spread by contact with bodily fluids of those already infected or is there some other route we do not understand?

  4. From the CDC's Fact Sheet:

    "Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been identified, the manner by which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal. "

    When info sheets say "experts believe" that's official Arm-Waving Mumbo-Jumbo for
    "We have no fricckin' clue, but this is the best probability".

    That remains true to the this moment.

    The companion problem is, people hear "direct contact" and think you've got to roll around in someone's vomit to get it, when in fact contact and droplet precautions mean that touching their sweaty skin, or getting a fleck of their infected vomit or slobber in your eye, nose, or mouth, and possibly even just on your intact skin, may be enough to allow the virus to enter the next victim.

    The MSF/DWB inpermeable full-coverage garment protocol shows a basic understanding of this possibility, but the blanket pronouncements that "no one is at risk" from casual proximity, touching, or sharing contaminated object or surfaces is counter-factual, and blatantly stupid.

    Which is what makes it the default position of utter jackasses, medical morons and government officials. But I repeat myself.

  5. I come here for accuracy, not lies! Joking, keep up the good work.

    And Ming of Harlem did chew on his owner, but Ming was a tiger...

  6. Uber has perfect infrastructure they can easily track which particular driver explore that ride. Since he is not directly connected with that passenger, he is safe

    1. Uh, no.
      He's safe because this happened 12 months ago.

      At the time, he was massively at risk for being in close proximity to a symptomatic Ebola-infected patient.

      Which, to date, has killed a few thousand people in West Africa, from precisely the same level of exposure, despite the ass-covering hand-waving anti-scientific mumbo-jumbo bloviating of Gov. Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio, certainly two of the dimmest bulbs ever to be plugged into positions of power in modern memory.