Ebola virus more serious than originally conveyed

By Charles Kenfield

As I re-read your article about the “pointless” fear of the Ebola virus, you scare me more than the actual virus in question. Let me tell you why. When it comes to the concept of ignorance versus stupidity, one of those two words is excusable, the other is not. My understanding of ignorance is that it has to do with not having the proper information to develop a considered opinion. This does not blame the person’s ignorance, it simply acknowledges a lack of information. On the other hand, stupidity is when a person has all of the knowledge for a considered opinion, and does not use it, or simply bends the truth to suit their own fancy. Therefore, I found your ignorance, “stupid”. To avoid “stupidity”, one must continually explore the information at hand. To involve the Salem Witch Trials into this controversy is, I believe, stretching a point. One was human caused, the other: not.

You say you are “constantly bombarded with photos and press releases about the virus: more people in Africa are dying…”, “…the CDC screwed up over letting an at-risk nurse fly on a plane and our protective gear might not be as good as we were led to believe. I see hardly anything about what the virus actually is…”, etc. How can you actually be bombarded (your word) with information about the errors that have been made? There have been many, we didn’t know the protective suits were not as effective as we hoped. You raised several issues of this nature. Of course we didn’t know everything about what we are learning, and we have learned a lot, still a ways to go, but we have learned a lot. Indeed, you have brought up several important aspects of this whole subject. This is a very serious subject: regardless of whether or not you wish it to be so, and I think that you have stated what you prefer quite clearly, I think such a “bleak situation” deserves more consideration than the snarky remarks in your last two paragraphs. To compare Ebola victims as “stars of their own reality shows” is seemingly cruel and unnecessary (certainly in light of the victims’ families who are reading it), and living through the reality of it. I’m terribly sorry to uncover such a mean-spirited editorial in an enlightened surrounding such as a university.

(Typed by Ryan Hartwell)