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Viral Map Illustrates Silliness of Sensationalist Anti-African Ebola Response

A map of Africa displaying Ebola's limited geographical reach seeks to educate the internet about the ridiculousness of ostracizing people who have recently returned from Sub-Saharan Africa. 

If you’ve been active on social media today, chances are you’ve seen the map above pop up on one of your feeds. The gist is fairly simple. The map’s subtlely sardonic “NO EBOLA” labels are clearly responses to stories such as this one about two Rwandan children who, after protests from local parents, have been kept from starting elementary school in New Jersey. The decision to keep the kids home has been a major victory for American ignorance.

Just in case you failed 10th grade Geography like those parents did, Rwanda is 2,700 miles (4,458 km) away from Ebola-afflicted areas in West Africa. That’s comparable to the distance between Boston and San Francisco. Imagine if a quarantine were instituted in Cambridge because someone sneezed in San Jose.

Sadly, the plight of the Rwandan children isn’t an isolated anomaly, as multiple schools across the country have been keeping kids out of class for no reasons other than unfounded fear and naked stupidity. We like to be as objective as possible here on the Ideafeed, but this response can only be aptly summed up as really, really dumb.

Thus, the map above. Adam Taylor of the Washington Post has the scoop on its creator:

“Frustrated by this, Anthony England, a British chemist who earned a doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has spent a significant amount of time in sub-Saharan Africa, decided to make a map to help explain what countries currently have Ebola cases and which don’t.”

Despite England’s good intentions, his map is lacking in a number of ways, most notably in that he doesn’t include countries like Mali or the DR Congo which haven’t been completely declared Ebola-free. Yet, at the same time, a world map of Ebola-afflicted nations would then technically have to include the United States. After all, there have been more reported cases of Ebola in America than in Mali.

Maybe Rwanda, which hasn’t had any cases, should quarantine any Alaskans who happen to show up.

Read more at the Washington Post

Photo credit: Anthony England / @EbolaPhone


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