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[Current Probaway update search for – Ebola.]

Evey year on my birthday I consider the risks to my personal well-being, and post the results. On the other days of the year my interests are in finding and posting ideas on how the rest of humanity, present and future, might protect their lives and live more fully. Here are some selections from earlier posts. 2013 – Always carry aspirin on your person and chew two at first sign of a heart attack; Kant’s Categorical Imperative is replaced with The Personal Imperative, – Avoid everything that might harm your body or mind. Also there are the 147 suggestions from the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece. They were posted on stelae in Greek cities throughout their world in 400 BC. 1. Pursue goodness. 2. Obey all laws. 3. Praise goodness. 4. Obey your parents. 5. Honor justice. 6. Use your proven wisdom. 7. Base your wisdom on facts. +140 more. 2013 – We place ourselves into environments and situations over which we feel we have a mastery that allows for this feeling of flow. To move into a new situation requires us to intentionally take a risk, and that is what our DNA tells us not to do, so it is difficult. 2011 – Everyone is trying to make the world better. Even the most destructive of actions is motivated by good intentions. 2008 – There are personality traits that can be learned, and to some extent they are infectious memes which you can catch. Some behaviors are life enhancing and other are downers, and it is actually easy to tell the difference. – Just don’t be stupid. Avoid those things where the risk is very high, and the reward is very small.

On this particular birthday the great risk for the next year seems to be Ebola. It is impossible to cure, and only supportive treatment is available, and that has a death rate of half the victims. At the moment Ebola is almost wholly confined to Africa, but the external responses to the threat seem not to be sufficiently aimed at confining it to Africa until it dies out. The incubation period is up to twenty-one days, and all they are doing is checking the people departing from the airports for fever, and the fever doesn’t show up until the person becomes sick, and that can be three weeks later. A reasonable response would be returning to a quarantine of forty days at some intermediate location, but that seems impossible to do these days. It seems the height of hubris to imagine that all cases might be stopped at the airport with a thermometer, and the height of idiocy to believe the disease can be contained once it is exported to everywhere in the world in large numbers.

So what can one do personally to cope with the Ebola threat? Not much, but one could prepare to isolate oneself from contact with other people as much as possible. That would require stockpiling enough supplies, such as food, for several months. Of course few people will do that, so let’s hope the disease dies out in Africa.

Just in news – The only case of Ebola here in the US was apparently sent home after diagnosis. This may be a big story because it is a wake-up call for more aggressive action by the authorities.