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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Stop sweating about Ebola

If you were to walk down a street in some towns, you would believe you were in the middle of a viral ?apocalyptic movie.

With the recent developments of the Ebola crisis in western Africa, people in the United States have taken to staying indoors for fear of ?infection.

On top of that, a Mississippi school went so far as to cancel classes after a crowd of parents became concerned because the school’s principal had traveled to Zambia, which has not been affected by the disease.

Of course, one would expect parents to overreact — that is practically part of their genetic makeup — but this school closure, and the earlier mention of people sequestering themselves inside their homes, reflects two widespread trends.

The first is that people are just overreacting.

Currently, only two people have been infected within the U.S., and these two are nurses who were treating a Liberian national who contracted the disease while in Liberia.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics that should put the current Ebola threat into ?perspective.

Compared to the current Ebola infection within the U.S., more people (eight) have died in a 15-foot beer ?tidal wave.

More people (21) have drowned in molasses. More people (150) die from falling coconuts each year. More people (20) die in Britain each year by falling out ?of bed.

Instead of worrying whether we are going to contract Ebola, let’s use our worries in a more productive manner and focus on containing and curing the disease in western Africa, because they are the ones who actually have to worry ?about it.

Plus, if we are at least moderately successful with humanitarian aid and support, then it decreases the chances Ebola will actually significantly affect the U.S.

Even should the worst case occur and Ebola makes it across the ocean and it begins to spread in the U.S., the outbreak of the disease will not be as severe because the U.S. has a better medical infrastructure to handle the disease than countries in western Africa.

As for parents forcing the school to close down because the principal traveled to Zambia, this is just another case of people believing Africa is essentially just one giant country rather than a bunch of individual countries with vast ?differences.

It’s a common viewpoint, so they’re not alone. I’ve met many people who can only name two countries out of the 47 mainland countries or even people who actually do believe Africa is one country.

So please, do me a favor and remember that, currently, we do not have that much to worry about and, while this is still true, let’s do our best to make sure it stays true.

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