I'm not worried about Ebola. I'm worried about America. I'm worried about our confidence and courage.
As most know by now, the response in the U.S. to Ebola has been mixed at best. On the one hand, the infectious disease has not spread uncontrollably. Despite serious snafus, the health system is learning how to manage the disease.
Calm down, people! Yes, Ebola is devastating, and it may continue to gnaw at Africa and the developing world, but it won't turn into an American catastrophe. Let me explain why I believe we will win this battle.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are similar in that most of the victims are people of color. Where Katrina im...
It appears as if the American people are willing to entrust their health and safety to the only party in history that has shutdown the U.S. government, and seems not to be able to kick the habit.
There is a phenomenon of what I call, "First-World-Problem-Shaming," where we make people feel bad about their anxieties because somewhere in the world children are starving.
One U.S. death from Ebola and every media outlet around makes it their lead story, treating it as if it's a health crisis of monumental proportions. Meanwhile, nearly 42,000 people die in this country every year as a result of drug overdoses.
All three crises demonstrate the futility of erecting borders, literally and figuratively. Like a virus, animus of any kind -- whether based on race or politics or simply emotion -- can spread like wildfire.
For me, what is so ruthless about Ebola in particular, is the way it forces victims to anticipate death, be ostracized and feared and remain void of human touch and personal connection. My test results came back negative for Ebola. I had never been happier to have Malaria.
The problem facing most Americans is not the Ebola virus, it's our anxiety about the Ebola virus.
Human rights would be empowered by a proportional and rational response, but knee-jerk fear has a history of racism in this country when it comes to public health. Unfortunately, current media reactions, prevalent in mainstream and social media, are fanning flames of xenophobia in America and withholding care from those that need it most.
Some of the terms are new -- Ebola, for example -- but the tactics are the same. We have the tools to fight back: strong coalitions, positive national security, veterans and immigration reform messages, and rejection of these politics of personal destruction. But we need to use them -- consistently and courageously.
Have your children asked you about Ebola yet? The pandemic is causing quite a stir in the news and social media, and while you grapple with your own questions and fears, you should also prepare yourself for how to handle your child's questions and potential anxieties as well.
I've been to West Africa, working as a music journalist, and to get there from the United States is not easy. I was based in Ann Arbor at the time, and had to take four flights to get to Mali, connecting in places like Amsterdam and Zurich along the way.
When the risks are very high and the treatment benefits low, a duty to treat is less than categorical.
The loss of a mother or father is traumatic in the extreme -- yet, for these children, the tragedy is being compounded by social isolation. At a time when they so desperately need compassion and care, many are being shunned and ostracized for fear of contamination. Surely, we can summon the courage, compassion and commitment to do better.