It has arrived. The Ebola virus has landed in the United States, and the overwhelming alarmist reaction exhibited by the general population needs to stop. Yes, Ebola is scary. Thousands of lives in Africa have been claimed by this deadly virus for which we do not yet have a cure. But the mainstream media desperately needs to reframe the dialogue surrounding the virus.
First: Ebola is not anybody's fault. Pointing fingers at President Obama, at the CDC, at the World Health Organization, or at anyone else, does nothing to solve this problem. Plenty of organizations and people have already expressed regret at improperly handling the beginning stages of this virus, but it is vital that we move beyond the blame and focus on what we're doing to solve the problem.
While most of the American population is busy consuming stories about Thomas Duncan and Amber Vinson, there are three countries in Africa filled with suffering beyond the faintest grasp of our imagination. Ebola is by no means finished causing suffering in the United States, but the sensationalist apocalypticism dominating the conversation is self-centered and pointless. It is a global problem and we must address it in a focused, intensive, multilateral fashion.
The 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell has risen to this task. We have thousands of our mothers, brothers, wives and boyfriends preparing themselves to go fight this virus at its epicenter. Where is the support for these brave men and women? A brief press release announcing the deployment of 3,000 troops to Liberia was a blip on the radar of the American consciousness.
This is unacceptable. We, as citizens of this incredible nation, must rise to the task of supporting those who will be at the front lines of eradicating Ebola. Our Soldiers are representing America in a noble mission that is difficult and necessary in order to protect our country and the greater global society.
I am not advocating for ignorance. By all means, educate yourself about the virus and what it means for this country and for the world. Do yourself a favor: bookmark and spread the word about the DOD website dedicated to Operation United Assistance. In every conversation about Ebola, there should also be a conversation about those who are risking their lives to stop it in its tracks.
This is personal for me. My boyfriend is leaving soon for Liberia, and I don't know when he'll be back. He is a son, a brother, a boyfriend, and a Soldier, and I am so proud of him. He's got my support, as does the entire mission. I will be strong for him while he's gone, and I will continue to encourage everybody to show their support for Operation United Assistance. Solution-focused dialogue is the only appropriate response to the fear and concern swirling in our population. Let's change the conversation.