In October 2014, Craig Spencer, a doctor from New York City, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after being exposed a week prior in Guinea while working with Doctors without Borders. After the news went public, the New York City Health Commissioner reassured the public that the situation was under control; four people Spencer was recently in contact with were placed into quarantine and The Gutter, a bowling alley that Spencer had gone to that night, was shut down.
But is this extreme paranoia of the virus even necessary? As Harry Cheadle reported in his Vice article, “New Yorkers have certainly been through more terrifying and bizarre things…than a single sick man.” In fact, Ebola is only transmitted through the bodily fluids of someone who is in the later stage of infection. A New York Times blog titled “Can You Get Ebola from a Bowling Ball?” answered with a definite no.
Corporate media is only interested in the highest ratings through twisted propaganda, creating this frenzied, alarmist hysteria that spreads faster than any virus. The Daily Mail reported, “Ebola panic is swarming New York City”. Unlike what corporate news wanted you to think, no one was running through the streets of NYC screaming. In reality, headlines such as “Ebola The Isis of Biological Agents?” from CNN portrayed Ebola as something akin to the zombie apocalypse of social media fame.
Source: Harry Cheadle, “Ebola Comes to New York: Everything is Fine.” Vice News, October 24, 1014, http://www.vice.com/read/ebola-comes-to-new-york-city-666.
Student Researcher: Jesse Wiegers (College of Marin)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)