I always try post solutions for the problems I callout in my posts. It just seems to be the right thing to do… if you don’t think something is being done right, suggest another way to go. These ideas often get buried in my posts. This is a repost of an idea I posted in response to what I’d characterize as Obama’s mishandling of the Ebola problem. You can see the original post here. Here’s the idea:
…This is an opportunity to kick-off a health-centric civil defense program, which might even help promote and support Obamacare indirectly.
The primary core message for jump-starting this program would be confronting Ebola head-on with an overwhelming force. It’s not an over-reaction to fear but a calculated asymmetrical assault on the disease that confronts every possible avenue this enemy could take. It’s not a war on Ebola, which would be too cliche, but an strategically overwhelming response that closes all gaps for this disease to spread.
Such a bold move could also earn President Obama serious kudos. Instead of attempting to downplay the risk, which the public sees as weakness and avoidance, he could use the appointment of Ron Klain as the catalyst for this shift in approach.
Immediate actions for a health-centric civil defense program could be:
- Encourage people to build-up their immune systems. Make it widely known that eating less gluten, dairy, fast food, manufactured food, etc, weakened the immune system and increases an individuals chance of beating any bug. Strengthened immune systems start with a healthy gut. When your gut is clogged with cheese, gluten, and empty calories they become a breeding ground for bad gut flora, and your health deteriorates.
- Develop and distribute a Home Ebola Early Detection Kit along with the necessary personal protective (PPE) gear and information to help people isolate households where Ebola is discovered. This should be as easy to use as a home pregnancy kit and come in easy safe disposal packaging.
- Encourage people to wear PPE gear as soon as they feel sick or travel in public – even if Ebola has not reached their area. Gloves and an N95 mask, plus good safe handling measures (avoid touching face, or unnecessarily touching surfaces) can give someone an edge over any contagious disease including the flu.
- Be ready to distribute supplies and care information to households where Ebola emerges. This will help folks voluntarily shelter in place for long time periods. At some point hospitals may not have space or adequate numbers of healthcare workers to handle a growing number of Ebola patients. If this happens we will need a back-up plan ready to roll. The most obvious next step would be to empower people to shelter in place and care for themselves.
- Provide people with assurances that they will not loose their jobs or income if their household needs to be quarantined. I realize this could get very expensive financially, but giving people the security to isolate themselves should help eliminate the pressure to leave their quarantine.
- Build a robust plan to keep public utilities operational like the power grid, water system, teach pickup, and sewer. Work immediately to decentralize the power grid to eliminate key points of failure and improve the overall robustness of the grid.
- Immediately ramp-up the manufacture of PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) forced air breathing units and other necessary PPE gear. While the current message from the WHO and CDC says that Ebola is not airborne, others suggest that it can be under certain situations. So as an informed precaution give healthcare workers and emergency responders the best PPE possible. This will also help keep people on the job longer.
- Until the danger has passed, improve control at the borders. Require waiting periods of up to several days to monitor for signs of infection. Use disaster relief housing units at the borders as temporary housing.
Consider making this kind of civil defense program international since the problem can travel everywhere. Then, like the powers-that-be are already suggesting, ramp up the international response in Africa. Heading off the disease at its source should be the top priority.
So just to recap… where I disagree with the White House is in the domestic approach, not the efforts in Africa.
What to Do?
I’m skeptical that our government is capable of implementing anything like this, or inclined to do so, we should consider these kinds of measures for ourselves. This you can do right now are:
- Learn how to improve your own immune system and make those changes now.
- Acquire basic PPE gear now (N95 masks, gloves, etc), and learn how to use it in an emergency.
- Be ready to shelter in place for an extended time.
- Reduce your exposure to all pathogens by limiting travel and unnecessary activities outside the home.
- Prepare back-up plans for electricity, water, and sewer.
An Ebola epidemic in America is on the table. We must not give into fear and respond stupidly, but we should not cling to the idea that everything is under control until the American people themselves feel empowered to defend themselves against this enemy.