Our Ebola problem is solved, right?
Only one case left, and he's in treatment, and doing better.
(Yay, $10,000/day Western ICU medicine!)
So we have nothing further to worry about, right?
What could possibly go wrong?
Except that there's still only 5-8 of those 8-11 staffed BL4 isolation treatment beds (even though they have room for 23 patients, they have nobody to care for that many people, and you can't magically make those kinds of long-term experienced caregivers overnight).
And we're still importing any number of returning medical and volunteer workers from Ebolaville daily, along with 150 or so other potential disease-bearing souls every single day, with "screening" methods that would best be described as a total joke, on the level of posting signs banning Ebola, as if that would work.
(But hey, we do that for guns at schools and hospitals, and look how well that's working out!)
Oh, and lest we forget, those
So, just maybe it's over here, like earthquakes in Japan, California, and anywhere else seismic faults are active are ever "over": until the next time.
Which could be any one of the 3000 arrivals from West Arica in the last 21 days already here who may have, just like Duncan or Spencer, brought it here, but been totally asymptomatic when they arrived, and were "screened" by the
Any one of whom could be the next case, or engender the next cluster of cases, which will bring American medicine, and more importantly, government public health and biosafety experts a whole new and vastly more dangerous assortment of ways to utterly fail at their jobs and endanger the public's safety.
So just maybe, keep making prudent preparations for your future situation with that likelihood in mind.
Water and food that you set aside now isn't going anywhere for years, and there are plenty of other reasons you should have been socking it away anyhow: hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, financial collapse, power failures, or even simply the loss of your job in a crappy economy teetering towards another Great Depression, or worse. (And the under-acknowledged Great Recession of the last 6 years hasn't been any great picnic for a quarter of Americans either.)
The one thing we know is that there'll be another Duncan. There may be dozens. There will probably be a cluster or three. Current thinking even from the downplaying pollyannas of this problem is to expect clusters as large as 20 patients, and perhaps another 130 Ebola patients here in the short-term (say, a few months). After that, they cheerfully note, "it depends on what happens in West Africa." Which is, by all accounts, circling the drain in tighter and tighter circles, day after day. Our tiny troop contingent in the midst of it constructs the equivalent of 24 new treatment beds per day, while Ebola makes 300 newly infected people to put into them. So we're going to be a little short there by mid-December, when our troops will stop (and hopefully, be flown the hell out of there before they contract the disease).
Ebola, however, will just keep rolling along, racking up the infected and dead in great scything swaths, and eventually heading for the greener pastures of a continent of 1,000,000,000 people with exactly the same susceptibility to this pestilence as the petri dish it's been festering in for 11 months, and with no end anywhere in sight.