Containing Ebola Hysteria Will Be Tougher than Containing Ebola (and You Can Help)
Now that another Texas healthcare worker has contracted Ebola, and was allowed to fly commercial airlines before the diagnosis was made, health officials risk losing the public's trust.
Now that another Texas healthcare worker has contracted Ebola, and was allowed to fly commercial airlines before the diagnosis was made, health officials risk losing the public's trust. Psychologists say this is particularly dangerous since the threat of hysteria over Ebola is potentially much more threatening than the disease itself.
"'Officials will have to be very, very careful,' said Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit that studies public health and perceptions of threat. 'Once trust starts to erode, the next time they tell you not to worry — you worry.'"
While the flu will sometimes kill upward of 30,000 people per year in the United States, which a simple flu shot could help alleviate, media attention has already focussed a great deal on the threat of Ebola, which remains near zero for all Americans. Still, when humans assess risk, they do so by balancing rational deduction with their emotional reaction. For reasons that have to do with biological evolution, the latter often trumps the former.
When it comes to risk assessment, author Eric Schlosser explains our unique calculations with respect to nuclear weapons:
Read more at the New York Times
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Lauren Miranda sent a nude selfie to a boyfriend years ago. Somehow one of her students discovered it.
- Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
- Miranda had only shared the photo with her ex-boyfriend, who is also a teacher in the school district.
- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.