Healthcare Workers at Grave Risk from Ebola Virus

by Mark  


As I have watched, listened, read and researched while the Ebola virus has claimed victim after victim, primarily in West Aftica, I have become increasingly concerned over the grave risk healthcare workers face in treating those infected with the fatal disease.

With the second nurse in the US of A this week infected with the Ebola virus after treating Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week in Dallas, the concern is hitting much closer to home.

How many more nurses and staff or even non-medical personnel in Dallas will become infected?

While healthare workers daily face risk with a myriad of illnesses and diseases - the confusion, the uncertainty, the untried protocols in dealing with Ebola virus - seem to be upping that risk by a wide margin. In most cases of infectious dieseases, there is a defined treatment or even a vaccine.

With Ebola virus, though the disease was discovered over 40 years ago, we are still in the dark.

I am not the only noticing the unprecedented exposure and infection to those Bartons and Nightingales treating Ebola patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted:

"The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa is unprecedented in many ways, including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected.

To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died."

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/25-august-2014/en/

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has become the focal point of the disarray in which our medical authorities appear to be. At times it is like watching an old film reel of the "Keystone Cops".

We seem to know so little.

Several nurses' associations are blaming the lack of training and equipment. Nurses are saying they aren't being told proper ways to cover up and prevent infection. Nurses are complaining that hospitals do not yet have protocols in place in the majority of the nation to treat Ebola patients.

Yet, I wonder.

How much would it really help?

Look at the number of healthcare workers in West Africa who are being infected and dying from Ebola.

Three healthcare providers from the US came back from Liberia infected with Ebola. Thankfully, all three have recovered and survived.

These American aid workers would have been better equiped than their African counterparts. Yet, still, these three American medical professionals were infected with Ebola.

What is the answer?

I do not claim to have a solution. But I do know there are those brilliant souls in medicine or other sciences who can develop the proper protocol or design the life-saving uniform.

From the Cornfield, how can average people feel safe, secure and trusting the doctors telling us there is little risk and chance of an outbreak in the US of A, when healthcare workers can't be better protected from infection?

More information:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

Lukewarm Response Nauseating

by Mark  


President Barack Obama met with the military heads of 22 countries today.

What was accomplished?

A continuation of the tepid response and action currently ongoing to the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is stomach churning, but not much else.

It is time for decisive and strong leadership by the President. His current military policy in dealing with the terrorists wanting to return to centuries long gone does nothing but to allow him, the US and coalition partners to say, "At least we tried."

Mr. President, either unleash the hounds and let them do what needs to be done or pull back completely to our own shores, hoping the fires now raging will burn themselves out. The current course is futile and profits nothing.

Either we go in full force and wipe this scourge from the Earth or we bring all our troops and forces home, prepare for the attacks that will come.

I've asked before, "Did We Learn Anything from Viet Nam?"

From what I have been watching play out for the last year, the answer is apparently not.

Let the military do its job or bring them home to defend the homeland, letting centuries' old conflicts resolve without us.

Why put our brave men and women in harm's way unless willing to do what needs to be done to eliminate the threat?

From the Cornfield, watching this minor league display on the world stage has me ready to head for the doors and demand my money back.

I am not advocating war or loss of American lives. I am advocating that we must do or get out of the theater.

To use more blunt language, Mr. President, either crap or get off the pot.

Inaction Expands Equality Map

by Mark  

On Monday, October 6, the US Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from the states of Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah on rulings from the 4th, 7th and 10th District Courts of Appeals which had ruled bans on equaliy in those states unconstitutional.

The inaction of the Supremes resulted in equality being the law of the land in those five states. That increased the number of states where same-gender couples are granted the same rights and benefits of opposite-gender couples from 20 to 25 plus the District of Columbia.

The map is expected to expand to 35 of the 50 states after a ruling by the 9th District Court on Tuesday which overturned bans in Nevada and Idaho. However, the waters were muddied after swing Justice Anthony Kennedy granted a stay to the State of Idaho pending its appeal of the decision.

Question is whether Kennedy may have granted the stay to goad the other Justices to take on the issue of equality. Is Kennedy expecting the conservative 6th District Court to rule for the States of Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky who have appealed adverse rulings on those states' bans on equality?

If the 6th District judges rule for the states against equality advocates, it would be a break in the trend where every other Appeals Court, thus far, have deeemed those bans unconstitutional. This would set up a reason for the Supremes to intervene and decide the issue for all 50 states.

Monday's inaction means that bans in the 4th District in the States of West Virginia, North and South Carolina will fall in the coming days. It also means that bans in the 10th District in the States of Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming would also be overturned.

In the 7th District, all three states (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) are now on the equality map. Illinois began recognizing same-gender couples without court action in June of this year.

A ruling from the 6th District Court is expected almost any day now. Should the Court uphold the rulings of the district judges that ruled equality bans unconstitutional, that could expand the map to 38. In addition to Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, that district includes the State of Tennessee.

For my life partner, Iohn, and me, the refusal to hear Indiana's appeal, thus making equality the rule in the Cornfield, it is a great day.

We are now discussing how soon we will make honest men of each other. There is no longer an urgency to make the move to legal recognition before the window closes. We can now take our time and plan a nice reccognition ceremony of our commitment to  one another.

From the Cornfield, the march toward equality continues. There is still a ways to go, but the outcome appears to be certain barring the unlikely adverse ruling by the Supremes if or when the Justices decide to finalize the issue for the entire nation.

Ignored Outbreak - Entero Virus

by Mark  


President Barack Obama has declared the Ebola virus a threat to national security.

The President has ordered some 4,000 troops to West Africa to provide logistical support and education in the countries where over 6,000 people have been infected and expectations that over one million will be afflicted by the New Year. Our troops' lives have been placed in jeopardy.

One case of Ebola virus has been confirmed in the US of A.

A Liberian man, who traveled to our nation to visit his son and family, came down with the infection a few days after arriving in Dallas, Texas.

The media is camped outside the hospital and his family's home reporting the least stir. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are doing daily press briefings on the patient and preventive measures to prevent the spread of Ebola virus.

Meanwhile, hundreds of American children throughout the continental United States are being treated in intensive care units across the nation. One American child has already lost her life to an outbreak of entero virus.

Doctors are baffled by the contagion.

Yet, the White House is mum.

The CDC barely mentions the outbreak.

The media use stories about entero virus to fill the back pages or as filler for air space.

Social media is relatively silent about American children coming down with fever and symptoms which demand treatment and monitoring in ICUs.

Why?

Where is the concern?

Where is the fear?

Where is the worry about American children infected by a virus which is usually kept contained in laboratories?

How did the entero virus make a sudden break into the populus, infect and continue to infect our children?

From the Cornfield, am I being an alarmist?

Is my concern for American children misplaced?

Is there something the government and the CDC is keeping from us?

Why is the entero virus outbreak being ignored?

The Obama Legacy - War and Global Unrest?

by Mark  


Two op-eds on CNN.com back in 2012 led me to put my own spin on things on June 12 of that year in an article entitled: Obama - The Warring President. With recent events it appears that both the op-eds and my own piece may have been prescient.

Here is some of what I wrote over two years ago:

There is increasing evidence that President Barack Obama may very well be remembered by history as the warring president.

Even though the President campaigned in 2008 on ending the war in Iraq, since taking office, under his direction the US has been involved in a number of military actions in a number of countries.

Yes, following the plan and agreement worked out by the Administration of President George W. Bush, Obama oversaw the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the end of the decade long war. At the same time, the President directed a surge in the number of boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

Troops have been sent to various countries in Africa during his watch. The President was in charge of engagement with Libya which toppled Mohamar Ghadafi. The President ordered a clandestine attack within an ally's borders which took out Osama Bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan.

Drone attacks have continued to pound and take out Taliban and other terrorist leaders and camps in Pakistan. Drone attacks have launched in increasing numbers in Yemen against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula.

There is talk of eventual military action against Iran to prevent the development of a nuclear weapon. Some claim that the US has already committed an act of war with covert virus attacks on Iran's internet and computer grid.

Syria looms as trouble for the President. Plans have been developed, though listed as a last resort, for military intervention in Syria.

I understand the President's confusion and reluctance as he must now fulfill the role of Commander-in-Chief in a world that seems out of control. He campaigned on a platform of extended hands of friendship and peace. He won the Nobel Peace Prize with his lofty rhetoric of a new era where enemies sit down at the table and talk out their differences.

Yet now as has happened so often in our history, world events come crashing into second-term presidencies and disrupt and destroy the most well-laid plans of legacy.

Where the President had hoped to be known as the man who brought tranquility to the world and a new way of conducting foreign affairs, that hope has been shattered like glass falling from 100 stories up.

His hope that he would be revered and remembered for over-hauling the healthcare insurance market and expanding coverage to nearly all Americans has been swept into a corner.

Today it appears that the President's legacy will indeed be as "The Warring President".

Talks and sanctions are having some impact, but have yet to stop Russian President Vladmir Putin's imperialistic designs on the Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Iran is still dithering at the table over giving up its desire to have a nuclear bomb.

Though the President did keep his promise to pull our troops out of Iran, all that was left behind was an embassy presence. Now we are once more embroiled in a war against jihadists in the land of the Tigris and Euphrates.

The President plans to end America's longest war in Afghanistan is still a go. But rather than bringing all our service members home, some 9,000 will be left in the country known as the "Graveyard of Empires".

The President is faced with the daunting task of using the military to thwart radicals who have corrupted religion to justify their murderous ways and means to establish a nation for the purpose of conversion by sword, destruction of the United States and bringing into submission all other Islamic countries and the world at large.

Words have no impact on this enemy.

The jihadist talk, the slick videos, the promise of paradise and sainthood to those who die as martyrs has rung true with disillusioned youth in the US of A and other Western nations. A sense of purpose and a pride are being instilled by an ideology built on hatred and deception and rooted in fear and intimidation.

What's a President to do?

From the Cornfield, for all the President's idealism, reality has assailed the gates.

Like the intruder last week who mounted the fence and made entry into the White House, world events and global trepidations have pushed their way into the Oval Office.

The talk now all over the media is of "Obama's War".

This is not the legacy on which the President had banked.

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