There is a disease that is ravaging the US American population. It kills over 1,630 people per day. That is 600,000 US citizens per year! At the rate that it is increasing, a full quarter of the population could suffer from this. People will suffer this disease in silence, some not knowing that they have it. Others will deliberately and ignorantly perpetuate this illness, not caring who they infect, and laughing in the face of all prevention measures. Though not airborne, the ailment can be transferred through fluid exchange. Of course, I am talking about heart disease, so the people laughing in the face of prevention measures are Guy Fieri and Paula Deen, and the “fluid exchange” of which I speak the transfer of that ½ pint of ranch dressing in which you drowned your “healthy” salad from the plate to your mouth.
You would think that Ebola is about to take over the US, making city streets look like a scene from The Walking Dead, with people meandering around in tattered clothes, choking on their own blood, trying to infect the “pristine few” by way of swarming and licking them with their elongated Ebola tongues, the victims’ final words being, “This is all your fault, Obamaaaaa!”, before they rise to be one of the newly infected, ready to attack the next healthy victim. By the way, in the time it took me to write this hyperbolic scenario (5 minutes), about 343 people in the US died of heart disease. The number of people in the same country who died from Ebola in the same time: 0.
I understand the need for ratings, so I get that a disease that makes you lose all control of your bodily functions and bleed out of your ears and eyes and finally die a horrible painful death is a wet dream of a story. However, the coverage is getting a bit ridiculous. ALL major news outlets spent a good 25% of their time with stories about Ebola (by the way, 25% is the percentage of deaths per year that can be attributed to heart disease). Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and even NPR have near-splash pages infected with Ebola. Politicos are now using Ebola as an excuse to build a bigger fence on the US/Mexican border. A few are suggesting banning all countries of Western Africa from emigrating to the US...even though we never did that to British people during their Mad Cow scare or Asian people during the SARS nontroversy™. People said that the caregivers who got the Ebola virus should have been left in the countries in which they contracted it to die there. Granted, one of those people is Donald Trump show is a registered asshole, but still, that is a little bit much. Meanwhile, another 686 people died of heart disease. Ebola: 0.
Though the urgency to contain a dangerous disease is not lost on me, I have no doubt that it will be under control in the US within a few weeks. Nigeria has a little bit over half our population, and they did it. Not believing what the professionals say is not the way to do it. In the mean time, we still have not eased the rate of heart disease afflictions. Measures to try have been spurned by the same people who think that and Ebola epidemic is imminent, and the only survivors will be Rick Grimes and Will Smith. Whenever health officials suggest we cut our portion sizes, some yutz counters with, “That’s not ‘Merican! You must be a socialist!”, but he’d misspell “socialist’, because his fingers are slippery from consuming deep fried butter on a stick. Try to simply suggest changes to diet and exercise habits, the two primary ways to battle and prevent heart disease, and you’d think that you suggested we sacrifice 700 unbaptised puppies named Fuzzles McFuzzypants to a Volcano full of rusty razor blades and wood chippers. If you are a man, your masculinity is questioned when you decide against getting a Wendy’s Bacon BLT where the “lettuce” part is replaced with more bacon, with bacon bits in the bun. And lord forbid if you suggest that people exercise more! People will read the article, Pin it, and move on to cat videos. Recess for schools has been reduced. And lord forbid ANYONE touch our precious cigarettes! Any measures, that other countries have made, to make smoking less appealing has been met with as much illogical resistance as gun control measures after a mass shooting. ANd it is known that heart failure risks, as well as cardiovascular health in general improve the day you stop smoking. But by all means, let us set our hypochondraic telescope on the thing that will likely kill maybe one or two people (if even that), and let us ignore the easy disease that we know how to remedy that if action were taken, would save over half a million lives each year. By the way, Heart disease: 686. Ebola: 0.
This may be the first time since 1808 that Americans have cared so much about something from Africa over something home grown. those of you who are really scared of getting Ebola, if you were not in any of the affected areas or in contact with anyone who was in the affected areas, then you are a fool. Unlike OJ, there is a real killer, and its weapon is in your hand. Put down that deep-fried bacon Oreo pizza, stop reading this rant, and go play outside for a bit. You don’t even need a hazmat suit!...yet…