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Ebola – and Personal Choices

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My daughter will deliver her second child in about 5 or 6 weeks.  Her first child will turn 2 in about 2 months.  New mothers, newborns, and children under 2 are highly susceptible to infection.  My daughter, who lives 700 miles away, wants me to come and help.

Three weeks ago I purchased my plane tickets.  Then the US identified its first Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan.  Then he died.  Interested citizen that I am, I waited.  I waited to hear what steps our government was taking to protect us from new occurrences and contain existing ones. 

And I waited.

Then, nurse Nina Pham was identified as another Ebola victim, and yes, she had cared for the first victim in his Texas hospital. 

Again, I waited. And waited. For news of leadership, action.  But this time was different.  Firecrackers were shooting off in my head.  My heart was sinking. 

I knew, deep down, politicians are incapable of boldness, of standing up and doing the right thing.  Politicians? Get ahead of the crowd? Hmmm. No way.  It is more important to them to do the “popular” thing – and, whether that’s “right” or not – well, that apparently doesn’t matter.

And so, at noon on Tuesday, October 14 while in the car with my husband, I came to an important decision.  I told my husband that I could not, with a clear conscience, get on a plane and potentially contaminate my daughter, her family, their environment. Instead, I would drive the 700 miles.  A pain in the neck? Yes…but it was something I would have to do.

Later that day, we got more news.  A third Ebola patient, Amber Vinson, was identified.  She also had cared for patient Duncan.  Later she traveled by plane from Texas to Ohio, while feverish and, it was later determined, with the approval of the Centers for Disease Control.  The plane? Well, after she disembarked, it flew more passengers from Ohio to other locations, including Fort Lauderdale, with her germs still inside it. 

I don’t care who you voted for in the last presidential election – or who you think you’ll vote for in the next.  Barack Obama is our President and I will continue to support him as he was elected into the office through the exercise of democracy.  He deserves and requires the support of us all. 

But – I only have one word for him, and for John Boehner.  Shame.  Shame on you both. We elected you to lead. Do it, for heaven’s sake.  Do what’s right. 

Are we/you letting pollsters dictate what actions to take? I may be a simple grandmother, but I know incompetence when I see it. 

Shame.

Your lack of action may not be illegal – but it IS immoral, unprofessional, and, well, shameful. 

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