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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

Fearbola: noun, the fear of Ebola taking over the entire country and causing a national emergency. Let’s be honest, we have taken this entire situation completely out of control. The media’s spin of the “Ebola crisis” has created a pandemonium among our country in which we now fear that an isolated, non-airborne disease will somehow infiltrate an entire country. Ebola is a real threat in West Africa, where it has devastated families across the region, due to lack of understanding about the spread of Ebola and a weakened healthcare system unable to contain the influx of infected patients in the area. In no way does this reflect the current state of the United States, where we certainly do not have the best healthcare system worldwide, but we do in fact have the resources and facilities to quickly quarantine any threats of Ebola to the United States.

At the end of the day, I blame the media who has quickly taken a story and catapulted it into a national crisis. Suddenly we are fearful of anyone with a fever and want to immediately ban travel between Africa and the United States. People with fearbola have begun to think irrationally and are not considering how small of an effect Ebola truly has on us. As long as you are not traveling to the West African region of the world or are not a healthcare worker coming in contact with Ebola-infected patients, then I have the upmost confidence in our healthcare system to tell you that you have nothing to fear. Fearbola has become so widespread that, according to the Daily Beast, Navarro College, a small community college outside Dallas, has stopped accepting students from countries with confirmed cases of Ebola. What is this proving? Since when can we suddenly stigmatize entire countries of people because of a disease in their country? Fearbola truly is taking over.

Ironically, people have little understanding of how high your chances are of contracting other diseases and illnesses, that are not Ebola at this current time. According to the CDC, flu deaths ranged from 3,500 to a high of 49,000 deaths a year, reaching ultimately endemic status. And yet, you don’t see people running to their nearest Minute Clinic to get a flu shot. Why is this? Why have we ignored the real communicable illness threats and have instead highlighted those that are of minimal threat? We need to think rationally, to step back from the TV screen, and to understand that thousands of West Africans have died from Ebola. It is our responsibility to not think selfishly and fear the spread of Ebola in our country, but instead to consider how we can help stop this terrible disease from taking more innocent lives in Africa. Ultimately the best way to counteract Ebola in the United States is to protect people in West Africa. Once we have done this, we can then rest a little bit easier at night, knowing not only that we stopped the threat completely but that we spared possibly thousands of lives. It starts with us. So get over this “Fearbola” which has made us weak at the knees and try to help those who need it instead. Interested in donating? Check out UNICEF’s donation page and make a difference.


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Blake is a senior at Boston College and is pursuing Biology and Pre-Med, as well as the perfect slice of pizza. She is so excited to be a co-Campus Correspondent along with Emily this year! As well as being a writer for Her Campus BC, she is also a member of the Girls Club Lacrosse team, the Public Health Club, and is a physics tutor on campus.
I am a Political Science major and Women's and Gender Studies minor at Boston College. I am an RA on campus and am involved in the Student Admissions Program. Since I am from Florida, I can legitimately say that I love long walks on the beach. I also love getting lost in a world fabricated by a novel, there is honestly nothing better.