Okay. I’ve had it with all the crap in the media about Ebola. Enough already. I get it. Breaking news tells me that I need to be afraid of running a fever and more importantly of folks from West Africa. Despite medical professionals telling us how difficult it actually is to contract Ebola, politicians are telling us that to stay safe, we need to close off our borders. Hmm… Who to believe? Medical folks who have dedicated their lives to the art of healing, or politicians who play to the polls for job security?Regardless of how you feel about the border and about politicians, the fact remains that those who have contracted the disease are the real victims and the real heroes. Yup, that’s right: heroes. Remember Eric Duncan who died in Dallas? In the midst of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Eric volunteered to carry his landlord’s pregnant daughter to a taxi so that she might receive treatment. Knowing that she was at the most contagious stage of the disease, Eric refused to leave her. Then when they arrived at the clinic, they discovered that there was not enough space and she was turned away. Eric then carried her all the way home again. According to his fiancé, Eric helped his landlord’s sick daughter because he was a follower of Jesus.
Soon after he contracted Ebola and died, but not before he showed up at a hospital with a fever, not in some West African infirmary where there are roughly two dozen doctors for 4 million people, but here in the “most advanced” country in the world. Even after telling folks here that he had just arrived from Liberia, he was given Tylenol and sent on his way. Would I have picked up that frail girl who was vomiting all over the place, knowing that to do so would put my own life in danger? I would like to think so, but I don’t know. Would you? Eric did and for such empathy, he paid with his life.
Ebola’s other victims in this country are medical folks; those who have actively put themselves in harm’s way to try and bring about healing. Nina Pham could have asked to be re-assigned or feigned illness to get out of treating Eric, but instead treated and honored him as a real human being, not the plague rat depicted by the media.Craig Spencer who went to West Africa with “Doctors Without Borders” could have remained in his affluent environs, sipping lattes on a Manhattan street corner, but instead put himself in the trenches, engaged in hand-to-hand conflict with Ebola. Would I have done that? I don’t know. I like my lattes.
Is Ebola a scary disease? Yes. It is like that sniper who with his first shot deliberately wounds rather than kills in order to create targets of the arriving medics. And yet the media and their minions of politicians whom they lead around on short leashes, would have us treat like lepers those heroes who, knowing they are targeted by Ebola, still show up.
So my media friends. Enough. Stop the crap. I will neither demonize nor leper-ize the victims of Ebola. They are the heroes. You are not. They are the ones who remind me of Jesus. You know, the One who a long time ago once said to his fearful disciples,
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-3).
With you on the journey,