And run to tell the king the sky was falling Chicken Little did, gathering an equally terrified gaggle trailing wildly in her wake.
When the Ebola epidemic crashed into the American consciousness you could fit what most of us knew about the disease into the acorn that bonked Chicken Little: Contagious. Incurable. Deadly. African.
Maybe, that people got it from eating monkeys and bats from the jungle and then spread it though contact with contaminated body fluids. Maybe that it occurred from time to time in isolated villages in West Africa, decimating those villages but otherwise generally containable.
The bonk was just that, news of an exotic deadly disease in a faraway set of countries. Until the first case of Ebola arrived in the United States on August 2 in the spectral vision of an infected American doctor in white protective gear being evacuated from Liberia, it was given little news coverage. Since then, too much of what we have heard about it echoes Chicken Little.