By Wendel Sloan
After two Americans were flown home for the first Ebola treatment on U.S. soil after catching the virus while working with patients in Liberia, predictable Facebook conspiracy theories emerged.
An entertaining sampling:
• “Ebola was bioengineered by the U.S. Department of Defense.”
• “The anti-Exceptionalist President Barack Obama is bringing infected Americans home so an ‘accidental’ Ebola outbreak can bring the Imperial States of America down a peg.”
• ‘“Outbreak’ right before the midterms? So the other tribe can remain in Power.”
• “Nope, it’s just wag the dog, there is no Ebola or Ebola patients. Just a made up news story to get people mad about something else (to take their focus off what) we are about to engage into ww3 with thermo nuclear weapons.”
Coincidentally, while the Americans were contracting Ebola, I was reading a book — bought for a song during the Portales Public Library sale — called “Survival of the Sickest” by Dr. Sharon Moalem.
I discussed the Ebola Facebook comments with some (in the parlance of Sara Palin) “lamestream media” (myself included) at a recent gathering in Clovis.
Being lamestream, it never occurred to us bringing the Americans home for treatment was a conspiracy.
The book’s general theme is some disease-related genes will make you ill, but protect you from death.
“Everything that’s alive wants to do two things: survive and reproduce,” Moalem noted.
Of course, bacteria and viruses are indifferent to our survival. Infecting us enhances their own.
Moalem wrote, “Our relationship with disease is complex … Life is a complicated gift — an almost impossible assemblage of biology, chemistry, electricity and engineering that adds up to a miraculous whole much greater than the sum of its parts … Given all the forces pulling for disorder, it’s a wonder we live at all.”
To one Facebook Ebola conspiracy thread, I ventured a lamestream theory: “Perhaps our government is bringing the Americans home to give them the best care possible.”
My naïve comment was greeted with expletives confirming my guilessness.
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