Ebola: How concerned should you be?
David Goldman

Ebola: How concerned should you be?

Editor’s note: The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 900 lives. On Friday, the World Health Organization called it the worst outbreak of the deadly virus and declared it an international health emergency.

Because our readers have concerns and questions about Ebola, we asked Jack M. Bernstein, M.D., a local specialist in infectious diseases, to explain the nature of the virus, how it’s transmitted and how it compares to other infectious diseases.

The ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus, and the repatriation of two infected American healthcare workers, has raised many questions regarding spread of the virus into the population as well as the wisdom of bringing infected persons from Africa to the United States.


Firefly spotters report back to us

In Monday’s column, we looked at the global decline of fireflies, which scientists say is important because fireflies indicate the health of the environment. Readers told us about their own observations:We have not seen one firefly yet this summer. We live in Yankee Trace and usually they are all around the golf course.. — SALLY AND GEORGE LANGENDERFER

During June and early July we had many, many fireflies in our yard, rising up into the trees from sunset until 1 or 2 in the morning.




The disease of American democracy

Americans are sick of politics. Only 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a near-record low. The president’s approval ratings are also in the basement.

A large portion of the public doesn’t even bother voting. Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election.

Put simply, most Americans feel powerless and assume the political game is fixed.


Random thoughts on the passing scene

One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.

It is amazing how many otherwise sane people want Israel to become the first nation in history to respond to military attacks by restricting what they do, so that it is “proportionate” to the damage inflicted by the attacks.


Backtracking on Common Core hurts kids, Ohio

When four out of 10 freshmen at public colleges in Ohio need to take a remedial math or English course, something is wrong. We’re not preparing young people well enough for the next step that most must take to secure a good job.

Labor economists say that almost two-thirds of the jobs that today’s high-school students will be competing for will require some post-high school education — with the best positions going to those who have college degrees or high-demand, marketable credentials.


Thoughts about Robin Williams

Williams’ death must not be without purpose

Depression is a disease. It is an awful disease and unless we as a community come together to address it, there will be more deaths. We talk a lot about a safety net for persons with mental illness; however, without adequate resources the safety net as we knew it is gone. It is not just about supporting the Human Services Levy this fall, but about knowing the disease exists and knowing that help is available.


The paradox of a college education

From The Atlantic: “The paradox of undergraduate education in the U.S. is that it is the envy of the world, but also tremendously beleaguered. In that way it resembles the U.S. health-care sector. Both carry price tags that shock the conscience of citizens of other developed countries. They’re both tied up inextricably with government. … But if you can afford the Mayo Clinic, the U.


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