Sunday, October 12, 2014

Two Words That Scare Me

Ebola and ISIS are two words that alarm me when I hear them. They have nothing to do with me and I may never be touched by either, but again, who knows?

Ebola seems to spread so easily, and as the news this morning stated, even a person in protective gear is now showing symptoms. The report I heard is that there was a protocol breach, yet, no one knows what the breach could have been. That in itself is scary.

Last week there was a news report about a nurse in Spain who said she touched her face while wearing protective gloves after treating an Ebola patient and that is how she may have contracted the disease. "She is being watched and is in isolation," was the latest I heard about the nurse in Spain. I wonder how many people she came in contact with before she realized she was sick. A friend of mine told me what she did yesterday and I realized that we come into many persons during a day. Here are the people she talked to yesterday: people at mass, hugging close friends, receiving communion, getting flu shot, bank clerk, grocery stork clerk, touching vegetables in the produce department, movie theater attendant, shoe store clerk where she tried on shoes, hair dresser, and the person who gave her a manicure. That's around twelve people that if she had been ill and had a cut on her hand she may have passed her illness on to them.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ebola poses no substantial risk to the U.S. general population even though many worry and have concerns, (like me.) The CDC believes that Ebola patients can be transported and managed safely when appropriate precautions are used. And then I hear about a nurse who did use precaution and now she may have Ebola.

No wonder the word scares me. It seems so easy to pass on, even with protective gear.

The other word that scares me is ISIS. It used to be the Taliban or al Qaeda and now all I hear is ISIS. Somehow, they seem quite cruel, especially with the beheading of prisoners. And its all done in front of cameras, almost as if they are gloating to show us what they can do . Maybe those things were done in the past, but we were not watching the atrocities on our television screens.

On the Internet I learned that al Qaeda cut all ties with ISIS because of its brutality. I know nothing about the fighting going on in those foreign countries other that what I see on television or read on the Internet. I have never studied why there is fighting in those middle eastern countries and it seems there has always been unrest in that area. Now that ISIS in involved it seems there is more torture and killing going on for anyone who does not go along with their beliefs. That is shocking and if it weren't true, it would be like reading a novel. What scares me is that ISIS might somehow get into the United States.

After reading I Am Pilgrim, a fiction novel by Terry Hayes, the possibility that mass murder could take place seems feasible.  ISIS could enter the U.S and cause horrible consequences. On the news this morning I saw where someone got into the subway system in New York and threw smoke bombs into a restaurant. My thought was, that if those had been real bombs, it would have been a real life attack. Just like 9-11.  Could someone be practicing? The Arabs on a plane a few weeks ago who caused problems until the air marshals took over could have been a practice run to see how emergencies in the air are handled.

Who knows? Too many scary things are happening. I have always said that I am like an ostrich. I bury my head in the sand and don't want to know what is going on. But, lately I can't seem to find any sand to bury my head.

At mass we were asked to pray for the sick, for the priests, for those that have died, for those with Ebola and protection from ISIS. Those two words seem to be all over and they frighten me. Will there soon be other words that also alarm me and bring fear into my heart? I pray and hope not!

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