It’s old news by now that Ebola virus has been on a tear through three different west African countries. It’s also not news that a man came to Texas from Liberia carrying Ebola and eventually died of it in a Dallas, TX hospital. What’s more, it’s also not news that two nurses who’d cared for him have contracted it (cached). All of that is bad enough. But the reaction to these stories has been … well, the phrase “fucking insane” may not quite do it justice.
First, we have the inevitable political reaction from Republicans using this as another way of tearing into Barack Obama’s hide. Their reactions range from the calm yet still irrational, demand that the CDC’s director resign (cached), which will accomplish nothing whatsoever, as well as demanding travel bans from the affected countries (cached), which also isn’t likely to do much good, to the extreme and ridiculous, such as bundling several crises into one big, neat package of hate, sanctimony, and paranoia by claiming ISIS/ISIL/IS fighters have contracted Ebola and are (cached) trying to get over the country’s southern border to infect Americans en masse (cached) — there is, of course, no evidence of any such conspiracy. And then there’s the garden-variety wingnut Religious Right wackiness of claiming Obama caused (cached) the Ebola crisis as a way of “taking over” or something (cached) — as though that makes any sense at all.
- A Maine teacher was put on leave because she’d gone to Dallas (cached).
- Syracuse University disinvited a speaker because he’d been to Liberia even after he’d passed any danger of contagion (cached).
- Mississippi parents drove a principal out of their kids’ school because he’d been to a non-Ebola-infested part of Africa (cached).
- A Carnival cruise was disrupted because a lab technician who’d handled one of Duncan’s blood samples was aboard (cached).
- Although the airline denies it, a flight crew locked a passenger in the lavatory over Ebola fears (cached).
That’s not the limit of the insanity, but it’s enough to illustrate what I’m talking about. It really needs to fucking stop already.
I’m with Shepard Smith of Fox News. Please watch as he decimates the (largely media-driven) insanity:
Smith cites influenza, which annually kills thousands of Americans, as a much greater danger than Ebola, but I can think of another, that being Enterovirus D68, which currently is something of a problem in the US. Although Ebola is more deadly than either of these, Americans are incredibly less likely to contract it. Which means it’s not something they have any reason to be terrified about. The panicking lunacy is enough to make me tag this post “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
OK, people, I get it. You don’t want Ebola. Really, I understand. I don’t want it either. But this blind panic isn’t going to help you avoid it. I’ll tell you what will: Calm down, grow up, and get over it, fercryinoutloud!
Photo credit: SouthernBreeze, via Flickr.Tags: 2014 ebola outbreak, africa, amber vinson, bad journalism, cdc, christian right, contagion, disease, ebola, ebola outbreak, ebola panic, ebola virus, epidemic, epidemics, fear, guinea, immature, immaturity, insane, insanity, irrational, irrationality, journalism, journalism fail, juvenile, liberia, mass media, mass media fail, nina pham, panic, religious right, sierra leone, thomas eric duncan, travel ban, west africa, western africa, you've gotta be fucking kidding me
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