In the interest of addressing community concerns and fostering a well-informed public, this evening at 6 p.m. health experts will present information and field questions about Ebola and Enterovirus D68, a respiratory illness that primarily affects children.
Panelists from the Centers for Disease Control and the Brooklyn Hospital Center will offer information on the spread of these diseases, the Daily News reports. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host the event, and Mordechai Goldfelder, the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s senior health and medical planner, will moderate. With what seems like a new sick passenger every day, arriving or departing from somewhere, the information session is not a day too soon.
The event is a smart move in an era and a city when reading tabloid headlines out of the corner of one eye and catching the tails of TV news crawls can quickly incite a panic, especially in the interest of selling papers and generating ever-elusive clicks. The appropriate level of fear remains unclear, with “panic”/”don’t panic” running on a loop in the daily papers, and vague sicknesses and closed compartments seemingly spelling doom for America. Offering information, rather than incessant clickbait-y news updates, will hopefully act as a strong anti-inflammatory for the pandemic fear lurking at the back of most New Yorkers’ paranoid minds.
Most New Yorkers’ Ebola concerns are more or less inward-facing, panicking over the one person who has died on American soil and expressing little or no knowledge or concern about the more than 4,500 who have died in West Africa. Both figures are scary, but in this city some are scarier than others.
Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.