Though it could be, EBOLA is not considered a STD. It spreads from contact with its contaminants by virtue of one person being within about 3 feet of a sick person, wherein the germs can be transmitted. People can exchange fluids or even contact the germ from a sick person who is actively showing symptoms.
Because of this, people are getting scared and starting to act crazy … just as in the past.
Scientists are trying to assure us there isn’t much danger, especially not in the supposedly sophisticated healthcare system in the US.
But there is doubt. What if we’re trapped in the recycled air of an airplane? How about if we get close and personal in an elevator? Can men hold hands with a pretty but sick women (thinking she has a cold) without being afraid of what the love-bug brings?
When AIDS, or what we now know is HIV started, fear took over, followed by irrational hate and condemnation. The cost was intense to many people, causing the construction of many social and cultural barriers to reason and understanding — and the gay community of the planet paid the price. And in many ways we still are. Gay men cannot to this day freely give blood to help others … because of foolish political and administrative presumptions.
So the natural question is: Do we have to experience this again? Will Africans – or perhaps all dark complected people – become suspect, forcing us to run from reality and medical science one more time? Will the straight world turn on its own in the same way it turned on its brothers, fathers and neighbors who were gay when AIDS hit close to home?
I trust not! I hope not. HIV/AIDS taught us a lot about health and wellness. We shouldn’t have to re-learn that all even with the scariness that people with Ebola can die quickly.
HIV/AIDS helped us as a people learn smart things about being on a planet filled with others. Can we grow from there or are we doomed to have to learn again by being suspect of all of those around us?
StraightAIDS (AKA, Ebola) is a chance for us all to see how empowering knowledge and reason can be if we allow it to be a tool for coming together, not being forced apart. We can use the wisdom we learned from the first significant pandemic of our generation to make the fear of another one unnecessary.
Do you think we are ready to be Ebola-smart? Or is this sickness a sequel to the horror show that HIV/AIDS was to some at the expense of the many?