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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Post-millenial tension, ebola edition

Ebola is in the news these days.

We have two cases of Ebola in the United States, and the national media is on DefCon 1. Meanwhile, the real crisis is in West Africa. This is where the world's focus needs to be. Instead, our national media is in full sensationalistic mode, the point where the only place I want to get my news--and a more rational approach--is NPR.

Look, I know that a disease, in which one's survival is no better than a flip of the coin, is understandably frightening. And the way the missteps by the CDC and Texas Presbyterian Hospital (woefully unprepared for an Ebola patient) don't make things any less scary. But it does seem that both are making amends and doing their best to make up for their mistakes.

Panic, conspiracy theories, and the "blame game" don't get us very far, though. And there has been plenty of that to go around recently. Americans seem especially skilled at concocting conspiracy theories or blaming someone else [cough, Obama, cough] for anything that goes wrong. While it is troublesome that the world has had time to prepare for the possibility of an Ebola epidemic and seemingly procrastinated, hiding in corner in fear is not the best way to face the challenge NOW. NOW is the time to take action.

I'm concerned with what the increasing Ebola crisis will do in a region of the world, West Africa, that is already politically and economical unstable. It finally dawned on me, after feeling powerless to help in any way with this crisis, that the best thing I could do as an individual was donate money to an organization fighting Ebola on the front lines. So yesterday I gave $25 to Doctors Without Borders. It was a small gesture--probably enough money to buy a few boxes of Kleenex--but it was at least something. I want to at least feel like I'm doing something to help.

And I encourage anyone out there who happens to read this to contribute money to any organization that is on the front lines in the fight against Ebola.