Fall fashion: Ebola

Province responds to public panic, as expected.

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(via Twitter) - NICK MARTIN
  • Nick Martin
  • (via Twitter)

Just in time for Halloween, Capital Health is ordering new safety gear and outfits for health-care workers who conceivably could be exposed to Ebola. The province is buying about $100,000 of impermeable gowns, pants, and accessories for front-line workers.

“We didn’t have those already?” You, certainly I, wondered.

Apparently not! Capital Health says the equipment’s ordered, but not yet delivered and all in place. We've had all the plans and training for an Ebola outbreak since September, but, says one registered nurse, that training leaves much to be desired.

“We've been directed to the one-hour video on the Internet site, as well as self-directed reading,” Trish MacDonald tells CTV.

Bad enough they’ve had all this union rigamarole, now nurses have to worry about deadly West African diseases. The back-ordered hazmat suits should help alleviate some of those staff concerns, at least. Though the nurses I’ve spoken with still have some worries about the current infectious disease face masks, which can’t be worn with any sort of facial hair. Amusingly, one nurse says that’s potentially a problem as a lot of coworkers are already prepping their Movember beards and ‘staches.

Ebola has even infected the legislature, but not in the way you'd like. Earlier this week Health Minister Leo Glavine took time to explain that the province, like most of the world, is in an extremely low-risk category for contamination.

The World Health Organization says West Africa could face up to 10,000 new Ebola cases a week within the next two months. The death rate in that area has risen to 70 percent. Nearly 4,500 people in West Africa have died from the outbreak. Then one person in the United States did, which caused all this panic. Constant media articles (hey, like this one!) stoking this sexy, dangerous disease haven’t helped.

It’s almost impossible Ebola will strike Nova Scotia. The disease can only be transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, meaning a pandemic is unlikely in a society so obsessed with cleanliness it sells both masculine and feminine asshole wipes. As far as tangible impact on our province, Ebola will likely fall somewhere between SARS, bird flu and killer bees.

In any case, an Ebola outbreak would need someone infected to actually want to visit Nova Scotia. Our poor economy and negative thinking are already helping to curb that risk, am I right?

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