Friday, October 17, 2014

Thomas Eric Duncan's Legacy

Thomas Eric Duncan did not die in vain.

Thomas Eric Duncan made a choice that reaches far and wide, on emotional, physical, geographical levels.

Thomas Eric Duncan seems to be this country's number one bad guy.

Thomas Eric Duncan is the person who contracted Ebola in Liberia and brought it to the States, and  I'm here to say that he left a wonderful legacy.

In a time where America is in a full-blown panic of pandemic proportions, I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Duncan for his contribution to society, to humanity. 

I doubt that Mr. Duncan intentionally contracted Ebola and travelled internationally so that the world would become a little smaller, closing the gap between us Americans and "those people, over there". But that's exactly what's happened. And it's good.

The truth is, this is a learning exercise for all of us, most specifically the scientific community. Liken this to when Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans. We, through death & strife, learned about the failures of our weather warning systems & emergency response techniques. We're a stronger country for it now. Is it perfect? No. Will it be tested by Mother Nature again? Absolutely (and a time of HER choosing)!  It's also like 9/11. We now know, through an act of intentional violence, more about terrorism, as well as the peaceful peoples of middle eastern descent. We also know that terrorism is not ONLY borne from middle easterners. It can be your white neighbor next door to you in Suburbia, America. 

We take them for granted -- our medical systems. This "we" isn't just the middle and upper class, either. Even the poor & impoverished of the U.S. never think about the possibility of getting Ebola, but I would guess they are now! Let's keep in mind that we have hard working individuals who give their lives daily so that we may enhance ours. These people, medical professionals, are practicing medicine. It's called "practicing" for a reason: it's not an exact, universal science! We are too complex of an organism to have treatment be 100% universal. Your body chemistry is different from mine. Medical professionals look for patterns & try to treat according to what results have proved most immediately effective. 

His legacy is this, but not limited to this:
  • Awareness to a part of the world, Africa, that needs immediate medical attention,
  • Awareness about a virus, Ebola, that needs immediate medical attention,
  • A test of and improvement to medical protocols in Dallas, Texas, which will ripple world-wide,
  • An expansion of training and eduction to employees,
  • Construction of medical facilities to accommodate those who need isolation while receiving treatment,
  • Improvement of protective gear as well as a re-education to those in medicine on how to handle it,
  • Communication improvement, to include distribution of information via the media

Too much irrationality exhibited.
Too much fear mongering.
Too much misinformation being distributed.
Too much panic and mayhem based on lack of knowledge.

Not enough patience.
Not enough respect for process.
Not enough learning.
Not enough compassion.

I suspect we have common desires, you and me. We wish it had never come to the States. We wish it didn't exist at all, this Ebola stuff. We desire it to stop - NOW. We want to know everything is going to be okay, and that *I* won't get it because some Suit at the Bigimportantknowseverything Organization forgot to tell me I could get it by touching doorknobs, drinking the water, planting flowers. We have fear, intense fear. We have anxiety. But let's not be irresponsible, please.  If I got got Ebola, I would want need compassion. I would want need to get better and not compromise others. I would want need someone to look at me with love, not fear, in his/her eyes. Would you give me love? Would you try to be understanding? Or would you fear me? Would you hide from me? I wonder how I'd get to see my kids? I wonder if my kids would even want to see me? If they did, what would their faces tell me? Would they have worry? Fear? Love? All of those? And my friends -- what would you do? How would you react if it were me in that sealed-off room? What would I do if the tables were turned? I'd like to think, at the core of your hearts, you would try to find a way to communicate with me, to show me love, to let me love you. I pray for the grace to feel that love bestowed. 

Mr. Duncan deserves dignity, not harsh judgment. His end-of-life and his death warrant gratitude, for now we as a human race are gaining an understanding of the human body and the world. We're evaluating our medical capabilities and enhancing them. We're reaching across borders to learn and teach. Our classes, races and other separations are minimized or eliminated because we all know that explosive diarrhea is The Great Equalizer. (That last note was a hat-tip to The Ticket listeners. :P #justthetip)

Mr. Duncan deserves our gratitude. I for one, am thankful for his life and legacy.

Rest in Peace, Thomas. Blessings be upon your family.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dallas Stars + Dude Perfect

I admit I didn't want to like it, but I do. Here's Dude Perfect - Dallas Stars edition with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin (for you Texan non-hockey fans, Tyler's last name is pronounced SAY-GHIN, not SUH-GHEEN like our native town).

These two guys are hot on the ice and off.

You like doughnuts? Pandas? Tattoos? Hockey? Basketball? Basketball with hockey sticks? Bowling? Dishes? Backwards-turned baseball caps? Laughter? This video is for you? If you don't like those things, well, okay, just watch because I asked nicely. :)

Enjoy the Bennguins!