Sunday, 12 October 2014

Ți-e frică de Ebola?

E normal. Creierul ți-a fost spălat de media, care te bombardează de atâtea ori pe zi cu știri apocaliptice. Și de SIDA ți-a fost frică în anii '80 - '90, dacă viețuiai și aveai sinapse funcționale pe vremea aia. Dar hai să ne apropiem de zilele noastre. De gripa aviară ți-a fost frică? Boala vacii nebune te-a băgat în boală? Hai, recunoaște că ți-a fost un pic frică și, uite, mai pun un pariu cu tine: ai uitat de mult de maladiile astea. Așa cum în urmă cu 4 ani pariam că noua sperietoare, virusul West Nile, se va fâsâi la fel de repede. E na, ai uitat și de ăsta? Nu-i nimic, acum avem Ebola și te poți speria din nou.

Mărturisesc că mi-e lene să prezint un research elaborat, pe cifre, care să-ți arate cât de infim este acest pericol Ebola pentru tine, europeanul sau americanul care citește aceste rânduri acum, în raport cu alte maladii cu adevărat letale. Te poți documenta și singur pe temă, e chiar mai indicat decât să înghiți ce-ți spun eu aici. Aș putea să-ți recomand mai multe articole, dar mă voi limita la două. Dacă nu ai răbdare să le citești poți sări la clipul de la final. Teorii conspiraționiste? Avem deja una grea, pe care nu știu dacă o putem respinge din start. Dar să revenim la articolele pomenite. 

""There's a fascination with the drama of the disease," said Priscilla Wald, author of "Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative" and a professor at Duke University. "Why are we so afraid of something like Ebola? You hear about liquefying organs. There's the bleeding from the eyes." 
Ebola is a scary way to die, to be sure. But there are other dramatic ways to meet one's end. And yet, we don't talk about car crashes like a contagion, nor do we apply the same focus to other, more common killers, such as influenza or pneumonia.

Humans have a long history of overreacting like this, often to threats that turn out to be false. When the brain comes into contact with a perceived threat, there are generally one of three outcomes. If the threat is real, and the individual reacts to the threat properly, it's called a "hit." "If it is a genuine fear and I don't act, it's a miss. If I act and it's not, it's a false alarm," said Shmuel Lissek, founder of the ANGST Lab at the University of Minnesota, where he studies the human brain's responses to fear. 
As it turns out, our brains may have evolved to avoid "misses." In early human history, Lissek said, "the cost of a miss ... of not taking it seriously, could potentially be lethal." But the cost of a false alarm is much lower. The simple version of this idea? Better safe than sorry." (sursa aici)

"Remember the Avian flu? Mad Cow disease? SARS? These, and other overblown diseases, took up a majority of television news time when they came to America or the CDC released a new report on the subject. None of these diseases killed a significant amount of people in relation to normal diseases in the years that they spread and all were contained quickly without creating a worldwide epidemic. This is not to say that they are not important or could not have become terrifying epidemics with tens of thousands of deaths, but that the sensationalism of media over the hottest disease skews what the real focus of our medical efforts should be.
The total combined deaths from Ebola, Avian Flu, SARS, and Mad Cow disease are less than 5,000. Influenza alone killed almost 49,000 people in the United States between 2003 and 2004. If you ask anyone today what the worst disease of our time is, they would probably say Ebola because it is constantly talked about on television. And although the disease does need to be countered globally, its effects are miniscule compared to the constant yearly battles against cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases faced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. 
There should be no attraction to hearing about Ebola every day and learning how many dozens of new deaths there are or what some medical leader in some European country said. The disease is new and thus interesting, but in terms of real significance it is weak and will go the way of the Bird Flu or West Nile Virus in terms of media attention. 
The media is filling in the role of entertainer as it creates death tallies and gives daily reports about what, in our lives, is less than nothing in importance. It is strange that people are more interested in Ebola, which is based on a continent to which most American viewers will never travel, than diseases like cancer or heart disease which will probably be what kills them." (sursa aici)

Apropo, știi câți copii mor de diaree într-o singură zi la nivel mondial? 2.195. Practic peste 800.000 de copii mor anual din cauza diareei. Știi câți oameni au murit din cauza virusului Ebola din 1976, de când a apărut virusul, până azi? Puțin peste 4.000. Dar pe acei copii nu prea-i vezi la știri.