Ebola jokes are ignorant and insensitive

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Jessica Ho

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Recently, Ebola has been receiving widespread attention as it has spread to the United States. Due to the increased talk about this deadly disease, jokes about Ebola have made their way onto social media websites and subsequently to students’ conversations These jokes are often shared in classrooms at schools.

“A lot of people are joking about it, especially from the lower classes,” senior Amball Ravi said.

Many of the remarks about Ebola are marked with fear and worry, but others use this epidemic as an opportunity for a nice laugh. Though all jokes are meant for fun and entertainment, I don’t think it is appropriate to crack humorous remarks about such a serious sickness. Sure, jokes can be funny, but when it’s based off of a disease that has infected more than 10,000 people and resulted in almost 5,000 deaths, is it funny or just insensitive?

Jokes never killed anyone. It’s a coping mechanism,”

— Aliyah Shah

As the number of victims with Ebola increases, so do the jokes. I’ve seen and heard jokes ranging from racist generalizations to pure stupidity.

For example, when a student coughs, a remark is made about how that student is infected with Ebola. Comments like these are irrelevant and not funny. I’ve even heard questions such as, “If you had a child, would you name it Ebola?”; a question so senseless is unnecessary and should not be asked.

Like all arguments, there are two sides. Many students believe that the jokes are harmless and give light to the situation.

“Jokes never killed anyone. It’s a coping mechanism,” senior Aliyah Shah said.

True, they haven’t. But they do offend people and make fun of the situation. It’s disrespectful and indecent to crack these kinds of jokes when there are people suffering and dying as a result of the sickness.

“I think it’s [Ebola jokes] rude because people are dying from it. It’s like joking about cancer; it’s not funny,” senior Lindsay Lucero commented.

Instead of spending the time and energy to laugh at the situation, students should be using that time to educate themselves about the issue and sympathizing for the victims of Ebola. We have a lot of power on social media and we should be using this power to try and better the situation, not joke about it.

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