The media is obsessed, because the public is obsessed.
Every unnecessary harm should enrage us: including the 10,332 American deaths caused by drunk driving in 2012 (that’s 28+ per day, more than 1 per hour); or the 23,362 homicides that’s 64+ per day, almost 3 per hour).
But DUIs and homicides, much less war fatalities, poverty, infant mortality, industrial accidents and so forth, are not contagious. Is that the difference?
The obsessed public believes itself essentially so good and righteous that they would never be involved in unnecessary harm … unless they caught it?
Or: the obsessed public is so anti-social that nothing matters except individual responsibility? In other words, forget about John Doe or Jane Odhiambo, I shouldn’t get infected with something I didn’t stupidly expose myself to? And to hell with those who have?
I don’t know, but it’s a sad, sad commentary on our American society in general when the focus is so incredibly tiny.
There’s also the possibility that Americans just can’t telescope out. They’ve been so brain washed by the often useless concepts of individual responsibility and self-survival that they can’t think in macro terms.
Right now, folks, if you drive, you’re 10,000 times more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than by contracting ebola. And if you drive and aren’t a health care worker, the stat is mind-boggling: you’re millions of times more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than by contracting ebola.
Did you get a flu shot? If not, the chances you’re going to die of flu this year are in the hundreds of thousands more than that you’re going to get ebola. Even if you live in Dallas.
But people won’t get flu shots, and their Congresspersons (mostly Republican) are getting besieged by phone calls demanding that we stop all air traffic into the areas where ebola is an epidemic.
So they’ll take the same amount of time, maybe more, to ultimately kill more West Africans that would otherwise not die for an infinitesimally virtually nil insurance against they’re own getting ebola.
And then, they’ll be one of the 30,000 American deaths from flu this year. Like seniors voting to end social security, Americans just love to act against their own self-interest if only the media can tell them why.
When life-and-death becomes political, it gets dirty. Wars are dirty. Crime and punishment is dirty. And now the poor and needy have become dirty.
How utterly despicable.