Ebola and The United States of Fear

Ebola and The United States of Fear

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,23 September 2014

The Snap

Ebola is a deadly, contagious disease and the latest outbreak has resulted in at least 3,000 deaths so far in the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. It is spread via the passage of bodily fluids, making it especially dangerous for men and women risking their lives to provide health care, kindness and basic human dignity to those afflicted with the disease. It is not something that is acceptable to accuse one’s political opponents of being responsible for, nor is it something that should lead to panic in every mall in America. Ebola is not something that we can pretend doesn’t matter because it’s happening so far away, nor is it something that we should be terrified about catching on public transportation in Chicago. Here at The Snap Download, we think all those things are pretty obvious; but given the propensity of the Interwebz, politicians and 24-hour-noose cycle toward amazing acts of idiocy, we wanted to make extra sure y’all knew what’s what.

The Download

People are scared out of their minds when it comes to Ebola, largely thanks to misinformation and ignorance. A bazillion questions about the disease have been answered in the past couple of weeks but we thought it would possibly help more people to pay attention if we couched it in terms of a highly plausible and moronic town hall like the one below:

Q: My cousin’s hairdresser took the bus last week and sat next to some African feller. Now she’s sneezing left and right. When will I get Ebola?

A: Ebola is not airborne so unless the “feller” you’re talking about actually had the disease (which would be highly unlikely) and the hairdresser exchanged bodily fluids with him, she should be okay. In general, try not to form serious opinions or make major decisions based on shit you hear from “a friend’s friend” or your “cousin’s hairdresser.” They are the same people who claim to find lasting love on dating websites, successful diets involving eating lots of candy and awesome investment ideas centering on as-seen-on-TV-promotions.

Q: When is President Obama finally gonna decide he cares about Americans and close our borders so that Ebola can stay way the hell away from here?

A: Let’s first disregard how nervous it makes us that you are probably able to vote, use major machinery and procreate. Instead let’s celebrate that you are taking an interest in global health and America’s f-d up immigration policies. Closing the borders would be impossible, stop a whole lot of stuff we need (like medicine, decent baseball players, trade, maple syrup, etc.) and probably not stop Ebola. Even if it did, the disease is still devastating our fellow human beings across the Atlantic and spreading at a disturbing rate, so it is already impacting us.  

Q: Some asshat Democratic politician said another asshat Republican politician stopped funding for Ebola and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of babies with Ebola. When will the FBI arrest the first asshat for being a lying liar?

A: Unfortunately, being a lying liar isn’t an arrestable offense when it comes to political campaigns so even if he lied, the first asshat would still be in the clear. But regardless, no, the second asshat is not in favor of Ebola or responsible for the disease’s spread. It was a total dick move to use the Ebola crisis in the Arkansas campaign, as it was to use the taped execution of American journalist James Foley in a totally different asshat’s campaign in New Mexico. A lot of politicians are crap. You shouldn’t vote for them.

Q: I got tons of things I need to worry about instead of Ebola, like my job, kid’s braces, fantasy football league standings, etc. Besides, there’s nothing we can do over here in ‘Murica anyway.

A: Although technically not a question we wanted to disabuse you of a few misconceptions. We totally agree that each and every one of you have more pressing, daily concerns than Ebola. However, you can easily do something to help global health efforts against the disease and in ways that only minimally (or not even at all) take away from your ability to deal with your own personal concerns. Here are a few of the organizations who you can donate to, promote via social media, and discuss with your family, friends and coworkers: More Than Me, Doctors Without Borders, Samaritan’s Purse, American Jewish World Service, CDC Foundation, Direct Relief, Save The Children


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Hat Tips:

NPREconomistNew YorkerCenter for Disease ControlForeign PolicyWashington PostNBCPolitico, Image Credit: Flickr

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