Scott Gilmore’s piece on the ebola crisis:
But, as grim as the death count sounds, it fades when compared to the 564,000 Africans who died from malaria last year. And this carnage is mostly confined to only five countries of West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. It remains relatively difficult to transmit, and basic measures stop it quickly. There is almost no chance of it taking hold in Europe or North America. Massive safeguards ensure that even barely suspected cases are quickly quarantined.
Scott starts out good but the final conclusions fall off the common sense rail. It is reaching to say that ebola will increase the level of xenophobia towards migrating Africans in Europe because of already pre-exhisting lack of opportunities for West Africa’s youth. Certainly, ebola doesn’t help the situation, but its hyperbole to say that more Africans are going to try to leave the continent because of an infectious disease. If they didn’t all mass migrate because of malaria, ebola isn’t going to create an exodus.
What’s making the situation worse in the response to the ebola crisis is the global mass hysteria, as Scott astutely points out and, ironically, to which his conclusions add to.
We need more collective action and less scaremongering.