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Learn from mistakes made in Ebola case

Carolyn Duke

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Like most of you, I get at least one call a week from home. Not surprisingly, most of the conversations revolve around me. How are your classes? Are you getting enough sleep? Did you go to church? The family back home worries about my well-being, both emotionally and physically. I ask about everyone at home, but they always manage to turn conversation back to me. Rightly so given the recent Authur Pendragon drama. Our parents were peppered with constant emails from the UA administration, and they were glad to hear all was well.

However, for the first time in my collegiate career, I pressed my family about their well-being. This is the first time I have truly worried about their safety. Why? Because my dad looked out his office window and saw helicopters circling in the distance, four and sometimes five at a time. National news crews provided constant live coverage. News conferences were continual. Outrage, fear, controversy: It was the perfect storm.

My parents live in Dallas, Texas, the first place in the U.S. to have a man infected with Ebola. News crews relentlessly reported from Texas Health Presbyterian hospital and from The Ivy apartments, the last two known locations of Thomas Eric Duncan. The latest update on the status of the man and the public of Dallas’ health is that Duncan is in critical condition after being confirmed to have Ebola last week. There are around 50 people under close watch for Ebola due to coming into contact with Duncan, according to the Washington Post. The Dallas News also reported that Duncan’s infection was not diagnosed and he was not put in isolation because he lied about being in contact with Ebola and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital staff did not follow 
correct protocol.

Fingers are being pointed at different people and institutions for the cause of this Ebola case reaching Dallas and possibly infecting others. With accusations flying, it is important to remember one fact: We are all 
simply human.

Ebola reaching U.S. soil has many questioning official protocol. This protocol is supposed to be trusted to give U.S. citizens peace of mind that we are safe from issues in other countries. But this is man-made protocol designed to address Mother Nature. It’s not going to 
be perfect.

I have come to realize that it is sometimes difficult to put my trust in something flawed. In this case, that “something” is our government, our medical community and human nature. But living in this unpredictable and difficult-to-control world, faith has to be put somewhere. And with many people criticizing and blaming people in the administration and medical community, it’s important to remember they make mistakes. But more importantly, we must all learn from any mistakes and not 
commit them twice.

Carolyn Duke is a sophomore majoring secondary 
education English and Spanish. Her column runs biweekly.

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Learn from mistakes made in Ebola case