Black widow spiders, vampires, piranhas, cobras, giant asteroids, werewolves, ghosts, aliens with ray guns, sharks, rats, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
All are really scary.
The Ebola virus is really scary, too.
But living in the United States, including our corner of it, you are equally or far less likely to die from Ebola than from any of those other things.
Ebola is not transmitted through the air or water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can only get it through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with blood or body fluids, objects that have been contaminated with the virus, and infected animals.
So unless you’re hanging around with someone showing symptoms of the disease, you’re just not going to get it. But there are folks out there who just need to get a grip. Most of them are politicians, but a lot are members of the news media.
Sure, this newspaper has run stories — some on our front page — about the two health care workers in Dallas who caught the virus from a patient who brought it from Africa. We also did a story about whether our local hospital emergency rooms are prepared in case an Ebola victim were to walk in.
But we look at the frenzied coverage, particularly on cable news channels, and the wild-eyed Maydays from various members of Congress, and we wonder whether everybody should just switch to decaf.
Many of those brand new “experts” have been calling for a travel ban from West African countries where the disease has run rampant. Virtually every prominent U.S. health care official has stated that this would be a very bad idea because it is far easier to monitor people coming directly from those nations than if they had to go somewhere else before flying here.
Seeing this all-Ebola-all the time hysteria, President Barack Obama on Friday appointed an “Ebola czar” to manage the government’s response to what has been repeatedly referred to as a “crisis.”
In calling upon Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to current Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, Obama responded to those who wanted him to do something … anything to combat all this scary stuff.
“It may make sense for us to have one person ... so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s going forward,” Obama said.
The late President Franklin D. Roosevelt told us “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
That is still scary-good advice.