Apathy toward Ebola breeds contempt

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Journalism sophomore Ansley Lewis, news gathering one.

Lewis

Jumping on the fear-of-Ebola-virus bandwagon is the new trend in the U.S.

Viewpoint by Ansley Lewis

alewis87@student.alamo.edu

Hearing and seeing the widespread panic the U.S. is putting itself through over the Ebola virus, I feel like I am standing on the outside looking in.

I see the reports on the news about individuals who have the virus, or who are being quarantined, and this inexplicable rage and disgust overwhelms me.

This anger is not aimed at the virus itself but at the people who are just now freaking out over it because it has finally reached the U.S.

Well, duh, of course, it has finally reached the U.S. Did Americans think they would be safe forever from this virus because several thousand miles of water separates them from Africa?

Have people forgotten the wonderfully convenient marvels of engineering called airplanes?

Forget traveling by ship for weeks on end when a plane can get people there so much faster! This makes it exceedingly easy to move throughout the world, be it in a matter of hours or in a couple of days.

But wait.

Know what else planes have made exceedingly easy to travel?

Viruses.

People have been suffering from the Ebola virus in Africa since its discovery in the Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, where it infected 602 people and killed 432.

Since its discovery, the U.S. had never really been affected by it. I believe the general consensus of a lot of people is, “If it’s not here, not my problem.”

Until someone carrying the virus decides to fly over to the U.S. and makes it their problem.

If health officials had done a more thorough evaluation of the man who flew in from Liberia claiming to not be feeling well, perhaps the problem could have been contained.

The problem also could have been contained if the people put enough emphasis on dealing with the virus at the source.

The “if it’s not here, not my problem” way of thinking is going to eventually come around and bite people in the butt. Waiting until the problem spirals out of control is only asking for trouble.

To all the people freaking out, welcome to what thousands of people in Africa live in fear of.

POP!

Hear that? It’s the sound of the perfect little bubble constructed around the U.S. bursting.

Wake up, America.

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