October 17, 2014

MARK STEYN: Protocol Theater:

The Centers for Disease Control is one of those elite federal agencies that people hitherto assumed was, so to speak, immune to the pathologies of less glamorous government bureaucracies. It turns out it’s the DMV with test tubes – just the usual “Sorry? Did we say you need two copies of the green form? We meant you need three copies of the pink form” routine with extra lethality. The Protocols of the Elders of Druid Hills have proved to be boundlessly mutable and mostly honored in the breach:

~Don’t worry, the Protocols are in place – except that Thomas Duncan, the original Ebola patient, was left in an open area of the Dallas emergency room for hours and the medical staff treating him did not have protective clothing for the first two days.

~Don’t worry, they did eventually get fully sealed, protective clothing – well, except for their necks, which remained exposed.

~Don’t worry, exposed medical staff aren’t supposed to fly – except that Nurse Amber Vinson got on a flight to Cleveland with a fever.

~Well, okay, but that was totally in breach of the Protocols – except that Nurse Vinson called the CDC to check and they said, “Sure, get on the plane. What’s the worst that can happen? And make sure you share the bag of mini-pretzels…”

~Well, okay, but the next time Nurse Vinson got a flight, everyone followed the Protocols and wore hazmat suits – except for the guy with the clipboard, who works for the CDC and so can’t be expected to know all this Protocol stuff…

As I said yesterday, the mortality rate for Ebola is 70 per cent – if you go nowhere near a hospital and just stay in your primitive disease-ridden village. If you go to a Liberian hospital, the mortality rate goes down a whopping three per cent to 67 per cent. One had assumed that western hospitals would be able to lower that significantly, but Hazmat Bob’s Ministry of Propaganda is not terribly reassuring on that front.

Yeah, if there’s a major epidemic, you might be better off locking yourself in a room with a bunch of pedialyte.

But also keep a copy of Mark Steyn’s brand-new book, The Undocumented Mark Steyn, so that you can at least die laughing.