The Doctors: Ebola Virus
The “Friday News Feed” on The Doctors started off by talking about the Ebola Virus in West Africa. It’s a huge issue, and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. President Obama called it an epidemic and is planning on sending troops. We could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected with “profound political and economic and security implications to all of us.” Two months ago, they implemented “significant resources” with four goals: to control the outbreak, to address the ripple effects of local economies and communities to prevent a humanitarian disaster, to coordinate a broader global response, and to build up a public health system for the future. It’s spreading, but there’s still a chance to help.
Dr. Jorge Rodriguez has studied HIV for many years, and this does feel like a similar reaction with Ebola. Nobody knows anything about it and it’s scary. There are 50 million people infected with HIV with 30 million deaths. And Ebola is growing at a huge rate now. There’s was a World Health Organization member who said that they can only get 20% of the people’s addresses, which is a huge issue. So that means they have to contain it, but they can’t.
The Doctors: Will The Ebola Virus Spread Here?
It’s not a question of if it’s coming over, but it’s just a matter of when. People used to say that there was a 5% chance of coming over, but now it’s up to 18%. Eventually it’ll be a 100% chance. There really does need to be a global response and we do live in a global society. There’s a three-week incubation period, so somebody could get on a plane without feeling sick, but bring the virus somewhere else.
The Doctors: Is Sending Help a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?
The plan is called Operation United Assistance. The problem is only getting bigger, but the US is sending 3,000 military personnel, as well as preparing 500 health care workers per week, which is great. However, there is a down side to all of this. We’re sending people over there who may not know how to protect themselves. They’re going to be quarantined, though.
10 or 15% of health care workers are also coming down with the Ebola Virus now, which is a huge problem. Not even health care workers can keep themselves healthy from it.
There’s also the fact that there are so many people with it and people have billion of viruses in their bodies and that creates a chance of a mutation. This could become airborne. Viruses are continually changing. This is a slim possibility, but it could happen. Health care workers are even getting sick despite protecting themselves, which could be a sign it’s mutating.
The first doctor with Doctors Without Borders just came down with the virus. So is it good to be sending people there? We need to be helping, but more and more health care workers are getting sick. This is such a tough issue. The Doctors are scared too. It’s important to practice “universal precautions,” but since doctors put their patients first, they are more vulnerable. That said it’s good that everyone’s saying that it’s not okay to say, “it’s their problem.” It’s different here and we need to help. But you do need to go in with a plan in place or you could just make things worse.
The Doctors: Domestic Violence and Sports
A video of Ray Rice hitting his then fiancé in an elevator came out recently. There’s been so much talk about it. So The Doctors posed a question: is there a link between domestic violence and sports? But really it’s a societal problem.
That said, we’ve turned a blind eye when it comes to sports. Athletes are idolized, and now they feel entitled. They control their anger on the field, but it’s a different story outside of the game. Teen boys who play basketball or football are twice as likely to abuse their girlfriends. Is it the testosterone that makes them a good player or something that’s happening on the field?
This is a huge problem and the NFL has just been trying to sweep it all under the rug. There have even been six more cases just like this recently. There have been 54 documented cases in total.
But this is a huge societal problem as well. People were upset that she came forward, and she even issued an apology at the beginning. They way we’ve been looking at domestic violence is not okay. It’s never okay to blame the victim. Domestic violence happens in one in four women and one in seven men.
There have been associations (and not cause and effect) between athletes who had multiple head injuries and changes in their behavior though. But this isn’t just an NFL problem. It’s happening everywhere.
Check out Robin McGraw’s When Georgia Smiled website and app. There’s a prerecorded message that you can send out if you’re in trouble. The app is also disguised. The only good thing about this whole situation is that we’re finally talking about it.