When it comes to risk assessment, there's one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards. It's why so many of us are so eager to play the lottery, and simultaneously why we're catastrophically afraid of ebola and plane crashes.
Playing the lottery is a daydream that anyone can indulge in for the expenditure of a few dollars --- an impulse buy and a month's entertainment for the price of two rentals from the Red Box.
On 9 November 2005 a Boeing 777-200LR, dubbed the Worldliner, completed the world's longest non-stop passenger flight. It traveled 21,602 kilometres (11,664 nmi) eastward...from Hong Kong to London, in roughly 22 h 22 min
Ebola is simply a reminder of how quickly in the modern world a new and deadly infectious disease can spread beyond its origins. Replace West Africa with Central America and the Caribbean and see how you like the odds against containment.
The geek is not particularly good at distinguishing between singular incidents that have a massive --- long term -- social impact beyond a simple count of the number of dead and dying and those with occur randomly on a small scale across an entire country or continent and which can be absorbed without much difficulty.