Ebola + BandAid + Empathy

Bandaid doesn’t hide what it stands for. It’s pretty clear. Those who object to Bono’s lyrics or the young smug agenda only have to look as far as the title to understand that its simple a first world solution – a bandaid solution to supporting the fight against Ebola. Fuse ODG says it best in Why I had to turn down BandAid.

In truth, my objection to the project goes beyond the offensive lyrics. I, like many others, am sick of the whole concept of Africa – a resource-rich continent with unbridled potential – always being seen as diseased, infested and poverty-stricken. In fact, seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa.

Let me be clear, I’m not disregarding the fact that Ebola is happening and that people need help. Since the start of the outbreak in March it has killed more than 5,000 people. But every human being deserves dignity in their suffering and the images flashed on our screens remove any remnants of this from Ebola sufferers, many in their dying moments, when they should have it the most.


My partner shared this link with me last month (unaware that I already knew the author ha!) but it struck a chord with me again today after reading the Guardian piece.  I seriously fell in love with this article which reminds me to ignore the media kerfuffle and to keep my focus on empathizing with the hearts of those who are suffering. 

Ebola isn’t the only disease that deserves our attention, nor is it the most dangerous. But the way in which it has captured our imagination (or failed to) in recent months reveals a disease far more deadly and pernicious. Its symptoms? Fear and isolation. Paranoia and exclusion. With this disease we ask only, Is it contagious? Can I catch it? We’re obsessively concerned about one sick person when thousands are dying. And why? Because we’re worried that it might touch us. And what if? What if the lives and suffering of others actually affected us?



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