Is Ebola your biggest Sustainability Risk?

Having immediately stepped off a plane this morning into a new screening system in Singapor10641018_10152546173614221_5995556142510740921_ne I can confirm that the Ebola panic is well underway. As of the 14th October the virus has so far killed over 4,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Read the latest from the World Health Organisation here.

The once safe bastions of developed nations feel under threat, there are calls to cease flights from disaster struck countries and now airports the world-over are desperately rushing to set up screening stations. The problem is the virus has a long “asymptomatic” period, ie it usually takes five to seven days to show symptoms but can take up to 21 days. We can therefore debate the effectiveness of said screening stations. Sadly we’ve also known about Ebola since the 1970’s but never bothered to invest fully in an antiviral or a vaccine because shamefully it wasn’t viewed as a moneyspinner.

For tips on how to avoid catching ebola read here.

But to the question at hand, are we always focused on the biggest threat to our existence or can humanity tend to get a little blinkered? People across the globe fear shark attacks and up until last month the Western Australian government was drum line baiting its coasts and managed to kill over 200. Sharks kill 10 people a year, dogs 25,000 and mosquitos 725,000. What’s the bigger issue?  View Bill Gates world’s deadliest animal infographic.

Equally how many more people fear airplane crashes but are thousands of times more likely to be killed in a car, the cause of death for nearly 1.3 million people each year- on average 3,287 deaths a day. A cause the Association for Safe International Road Travel are desperately trying to publicise.

"Follow the leaders." Sculpture by Issac Cordal highlighting the risks in global warming.

“Follow the leaders.” Sculpture by Issac Cordal highlighting the risks in global warming.

My somewhat meandering point is this, Ebola is real and is a risk and you can support where it’s needed by making a donation to Medecin Sans Frontieres, a truly heroic organisation.  But through all the panic, let’s continue to filter and focus our efforts as businesses and citizens on where the biggest threats and issues to all of us lie, we are after all a lot better at the spreading of fear and lengthy discussion than we are about action.

Less conversation, more action is our motto after all!

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