Thursday, March 31, 2016
Epidemics (Make-Up for 3/29/16)
If you ask the majority of society what they are thinking it is very unlikely that it is “germs” or “bacteria” or “epidemics.” It is also very unlikely that people think about how the things they do every day that could or do impact the rise of the next epidemic. Movies like World War Z, 28 Weeks Later, and Contagion bring scary factors of the reality how epidemics and pandemics come to rise but when movie goers leave the theater, the idea that something so dangerous is not impossible and will eventually happen escapes their minds. The closest thing to an epidemic that has occurred in the U.S. in the past few years is the outbreak of measles and mumps among unvaccinated children. Rather than focus on the “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” topic I think the area of focus at this point is the rise of “superbugs” due to the over prescription of antibiotics and also the lack vaccinations or medication of some viruses. The most recent pandemic scare was the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2013. Countries shut down their boarder and airlines prevented flights for certain countries and citizens of those countries but in reality people were still able to travel and bring the virus back with them. Multiple cases of Ebola have traveled to the US and thankfully multiple medical units and hospitals had procedures of how to handle the issue but we can’t always be so lucky. Just like it is stated in our reading “it's not a matter of if, but when” is very true and if anything, that is what we should be afraid of and be working to “prepare” ourselves for. I am not talking about preparation in the since of "doomsday" and creating shelters and storing food but prepare as just being generally more aware of the situations going on in the world, our countries, our communities, and our everyday lives. I think due to medications and sterilization techniques many people have forgotten that it is still very necessary to wash their hands and clean up after themselves no matter the situation. We rely on the fact that someone or something else will clean up after us too much and that has become a problem. Our dependency of antibiotics has and will continue to create a more dangerous world for the generations to come. Bacteria is adapting and become resistant to the methods of prevention we have made. What will happen when none of the scientific knowledge we currently have can combat a superbug? MERSA is currently the superbug that is untouchable by our medication and spreads likes wild fire unless it is closely under watch. I think our need to be so clean and sterile has lead us to actually be more dependent and ultimately “dirty” because we rely on hand-sanitizers and bleach to clean up our messes. I think that the advances are very beneficial but we do not need to rely on them. I don’t want to seems like an all-natural anti-science fanatic but I do think it is time we get back to letting our bodies and immune systems do what they are intended to and let us fight our biological battles without the constant need for medication.