I’ve seen a number of panicky Facebook posts and tweets about the Ebola crisis today, no doubt fueled by the news that a couple victims of that dread disease are now here in the U.S. instead of safely isolated on the other side of the world, and — I have to be honest — they’ve really annoyed me. Yes, Ebola is scary shit, and the idea of a pandemic wiping out the human race is one of my deepest fears, even worse than my worries about a nuclear holocaust followed by an army of chromium skeletons systematically exterminating the survivors. (Seriously, I grew up in the latter days of the Cold War, when Ronnie Ray-Gun had his finger on The Button and every third movie, TV show, and pop song was telling us we were all going to die in a planetwide crop of mushroom clouds; I jest because I remember what that fear was really like.) But everybody needs to take a deep breath and apply some rational thought to this Ebola thing.
The truth is, Ebola is actually pretty hard to contract, and the odds of it breaking out in any serious way in the United States — let alone turning into something out of The Stand — are extremely long. The Centers for Disease Control website has a lot of good information on the subject; the CDC has also produced a calming infographic, which I’m just going to leave here….