Ebola Jokes Show Bad Taste

Rants and Revelations


Ariel Walker is the News Editor of The Southfield Jay.

I was recently in a Government class when a fellow student had ink on her hand. Those around her started joking that she had the Ebola virus. Other students quickly laughed and joined in with the Ebola jokes.
The Ebola virus is no laughing matter.
The disease has so far killed an estimated 12,000 people in West Africa, according to World Health Organization, and it continues to threaten the rest of the world. Yet somehow it has become a source of humor for
uneducated people.
Social media is a big contributor to the problem. Posts made on Instagram say “Repost or catch Ebola!” and tweets on Twitter say “If you opened this, you have Ebola.”
The Ebola virus is a serious illness that has been around since 1976 but not in large numbers until the past year. It can be fatal if untreated.
According to the World Health Organization statistics, 50 percent of people who contract Ebola die from it. What’s so funny about that?
The United States has had four confirmed cases of the Ebola virus so far and one confirmed death.
So why is this disease so funny?
I do not recall ever hearing cancer jokes or AIDS jokes, but for some reason Ebola jokes have been spreading like cream cheese at a bagel factory.
Maybe the difference between Ebola and other diseases is that many people know someone who has cancer or has died from cancer and many people know someone who has AIDS or has died from it. So they choose not to joke about it.
Perhaps people joke about Ebola because, while the threat looms large, it has not reached
And let’s hope it never does.

Columnist Ariel Walker writes the “Rants and Revelations” column for The Southfield Jay.