Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola Gets Worse and Obama Does Nothing

How does it make you feel that an Ebola-infected doctor who just returned from New Guinea was allowed to carry on with his normal activities? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seems to be fine with this happening; in fact they "instruct health workers returning from West Africa to monitor their health for 21 days and that "during the time you are monitoring your health, you can continue your normal activities." This is why Ebola, which may not be considered a health crisis in the US just yet, will become a national health crisis.
Governors of New York and New Jersey  Implementing New Protocol
It has been about a month since the first case of Ebola in the US, and even though the Obama administration claimed to have it under control there have still been other cases of Ebola since then. Due to the poor policies being put into place, the governors of New Jersey and New York have had to put their own policies into place. They imposed a mandatory 21-day quarantine on health professionals returning to either state from West Africa.
I believe this policy should be imposed throughout the country. I don't think any Americans would be upset if the president took precautionary measures instead of allowing more people to contract the disease. It's time for Obama to implement a policy that will truly protect Americans.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Native Son' Review

This past Thursday our American Studies class went to see a play of the Richard Wright novel 'Native Son.' I thought this interpretation of the book really captivated the audiences attention, at least it captivated mine. I especially liked how Bigger had his conscience constantly following him around; I thought that made Bigger's presence on stage stronger than if he were alone. Though I didn't read the book the play did a nice job of telling the story in a clear way. 
Bigger Thomas
    One parallel I noticed in this play was how Mary and Bessie both were alcoholics. When they were on stage a flask was typically being passed around. My interpretation of this was that Wright wanted to show how the whites and the blacks weren't that different. A white woman wasn't "classier" than a black woman, if they were both alcoholics. Not to mention that these two women were both murdered by Bigger. These two women have so much in common yet they are completely different. I can't help but wonder if Richard Wright wanted these women to be seen this way on purpose? 
    At the end of this play Bigger was supposed to be seen as a victim; I, however, didn't see him that way. Had Bigger only accidentally killed Mary I would have seen him as more of a victim because he didn't have control over that situation, but he intentionally murdered Bessie which is why I don't see him as the victim in the situation. There were times when I felt that he truly wasn't in control of his situation and it didn't help that he constantly had his conscience talking in the background. Nevertheless, killing Bessie was unnecessary in my opinion. Even so, I still enjoyed the play and I understand the message it was trying to convey to the audience about the circumstances that African Americans had to live under during that time period. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

'National Security Priority' Being Taken More Seriously

In my last post I talked about how President Obama wasn't doing enough about the Ebola crisis. Well he has now amped up security at some airports. Center of Disease Control staffers will be at JFK in New York, Chicago, Newark in New Jersey and Washington Dulles. At these airports they'll ask the travelers where they have been and take their temperatures. Even though a fever is one of the first symptoms of Ebola it is also a symptom of malaria and influenza so this can be misleading. 
Airlines say that people on the same plane as someone who is infected with Ebola can't contract the disease because it can only be contracted through bodily fluids. No matter how much people say that it doesn't matter if flights come in to the U.S. from infected African countries I still believe that these flights should not be allowed in to the country. The best way to prevent a disease like this, in my opinion, is to do your best to make sure it doesn't enter the country. Obviously if we had done that in the case of Thomas Duncan we may not have had an outbreak in the U.S., which then led to Thomas Duncan's nurse contracting the disease. 
The Obama administration does not want to stop flights from West Africa because those countries screen people on their way out. CDC says that 77 people have been pulled out of line to board flights because of these screenings. Though this does make me feel a little more comfortable about the situation, I do not feel that we should rely on these screenings. I believe that we need to do as much as we can to prevent any more people from getting the disease. If we wait for the outbreak to die down then we can start to allow flights back in to the U.S.
Do you think these screenings are enough to control Ebola or should the protocols be more drastic? 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 'National Security Priority' That Isn't Being Taken Seriously

Just five days ago, the first case of Ebola in the United States was found in Dallas, Texas. Thomas Duncan, a  man coming from Liberia, landed in Dallas on September 20th; ten days later he was diagnosed with Ebola. The question everyone is asking is: How did he get in to the United States? This man was given a questionnaire on the flight to the U.S. and one of the questions asked whether he had been in contact or near someone with Ebola; the man answered no and was then let into the country with no further testing or screening. The real problem I have with this situation is that a plane coming from the infected area of West Africa was even allowed to fly to the United States.
Thomas Duncan
President Obama claimed that Ebola was a "national security priority", and yet he is allowing people to fly into the country who have been in the infected areas. Why hasn't he stopped all flights to the U.S. from these countries? He has the power to do so. Is Obama in denial about how serious this really is? In fact, on September 16th just four days before the man from Liberia arrived in the United States President Obama declared that the chances of Ebola reaching the U.S. was "extremely low". Then Thomas Duncan arrived and everything became more serious.
I can't help but wonder what Obama will do next; he already made the mistake of allowing planes to fly in to the United States, will he finally realize that he needs to stop all flights? Knowing that Obama could have taken precautionary measures to ensure that Ebola did not reach the United States and he didn't makes me feel as though he is one of the reasons that Ebola has made it here to the states.
Do you think that Obama did the right thing by allowing planes to fly into the U.S. or should he have never allowed that to happen?