I covered the early days of AIDS and I'm sad to say racist media hysteria hasn't changed much

Look, I’ll be honest. I have a lot of respect for Ebola for the same reason why I have a lot of respect for firearms: I respect anything that can kill me. Although we’ll have more flu deaths in the United States this year than we will Ebola deaths, when touching someone’s sweaty arm can kill you, you have to take it seriously.

I also understand the fear of the unknown it engenders. Roughly 90 percent of the people who have it or have died from it are from places most Americans can’t find on a map. Eight people have been treated for it here and of those eight, only two of them — nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson — contracted it here. There’s only been one American death, Thomas Duncan, and he contracted it before leaving his home in Liberia.

But while I understand fear, I have no tolerance for fear mongering and the ignorance that seems to accompany it. It gives people an excuse to make scapegoats of a population that already has enough problems dealing with (a) the less than generous people who say they rule their countries and (b) the resource gouging multinational corporations that actually do.