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Ebola at airports screening

Chicago Tribune Graphics

I’m not going to write about Ebola!

Before I start not writing about Ebola; there are cases of Ebola IN TEXAS. What? How is there an Ebola outbreak in Dallas?? Someone needs to start talking. NOW! Luckily I live my life by Thelma and Louise’s “whatever you do, find some way we don’t gotta go through Texas” motto, but I can’t control where my airline decides to layover. Texas is pretty much unavoidable when you fly from Central America to North America or Europe. Anyway, I’m going to try really hard not to mention or think about Ebola* for the rest of this blog…

“Happy non-Ebola news:
Smiley 50th AnniversaryThis month is the 50th anniversary of the iconic Smiley! The creator, local Massachusetts artist Harvey Ball got $240 for creating the Smiley for an internal boost to morale at an insurance company. He never copyrighted the image, neither did the company he made it for, making it the most iconic non-commercial free image in the world”

New giant dinosaur discovered in Argentina

Dreadnoughtus

Dreadnoughtus schrani was discovered in 2005 in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina.
Source: Wikipedia Illustration by Jennifer Hall

 

Anyway, let me start over. I’m not going to write about Ebola because there’s a new gigantasaurus in town! It was discovered in Argentina and it is the largest terrestrial animal ever found weighing in at 65 ton! For those of you keeping score, that’s just over 8 times the size of a T-Rex. It has been named Dreadnaughtus, which would imply that this is not an animal to fear, but though it may be a plant eater, it is still bigger than a Boeing 737 and comes equipped with a weaponized tail. Perhaps a more appropriate name would have been “Dread-me-slightly-saurus”.

Dreadnaughtus

Dreadnaughtus Size Comparison Chart
Source: Wikipedia

“Fun Ebola fact: while most consider the Ebola threat to Latin America low, Argentina – and the rest of south and central America – have already begun to prepare for a potential Ebola outbreak.”

As awesome as I think it is that we are still discovering new dinosaurs in 2014, I can’t help but wonder is this news is only coming out now as a distraction from the fact that Ebola has broken out in Texas and Washington!! The Dreadnaughtus was discovered back in 2005. Why are we only hearing about it now? “Don’t look over here where there’s Ebola, look over here at this shiny new dinosaur.” I’m on to you, US government!

So, now that I know I don’t need to be afraid of the newly discovered dinosaur, do I need to be afraid of contracting the Ebola virus? Let’s go down the CDC Ebola preventative check list, shall we?

  1. Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids. (check!)
  2. Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (way ahead of you. Also: gross!)
  3. Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola (I think I can handle that. So far so good)
  4. Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals. (D’oh! So close to a perfect score. I live in a country where bats are frequent and there is a monkey in my yard right now. And it is adorable. Even though I am reading from the Center for Disease Control’s own website telling me not to touch that monkey, the only reason I am not touching that cute little nonhuman primate, is because he won’t let me!)

I give myself a 3 ½ out of 4 on the Ebola prevention check list. And in terms of not making this blog about my sense of impending doom by Ebola, I give myself an A for effort.

*The Ebola virus is “highly infectious but not very transmissible”, and experts are pretty sure we won’t be facing an epidemic any time soon. Ebola is much less infectious that the measles or the flu. It is called the “caregivers disease” because you have to have been in direct contact with an infected person (Source: Washington Post).

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