Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.
Gotcha. You can’t get Ebola on a bus or a plane, you can only give it. Good to know. Thanks, Doc.
The Centers for Disease Control is one of those elite federal agencies that people hitherto assumed was, so to speak, immune to the pathologies of less glamorous government bureaucracies. It turns out it’s the DMV with test tubes – just the usual “Sorry? Did we say you need two copies of the green form? We meant you need three copies of the pink form” routine with extra lethality. The Protocols of the Elders of Druid Hills have proved to be boundlessly mutable and mostly honored in the breach:
~Don’t worry, the Protocols are in place – except that Thomas Duncan, the original Ebola patient, was left in an open area of the Dallas emergency room for hours and the medical staff treating him did not have protective clothing for the first two days.
~Don’t worry, they did eventually get fully sealed, protective clothing – well, except for their necks, which remained exposed.
~Don’t worry, exposed medical staff aren’t supposed to fly – except that Nurse Amber Vinson got on a flight to Cleveland with a fever.
~Well, okay, but that was totally in breach of the Protocols – except that Nurse Vinson called the CDC to check and they said, “Sure, get on the plane. What’s the worst that can happen? And make sure you share the bag of mini-pretzels…”
~Well, okay, but the next time Nurse Vinson got a flight, everyone followed the Protocols and wore hazmat suits – except for the guy with the clipboard, who works for the CDC and so can’t be expected to know all this Protocol stuff… “