Harsh words will not help the TB victim

Morgan Edwards, Staff Artist

Tuberculosis is one of many scary words to hear in a community. Fears of outbreaks of any disease can cause people to react in ways they wouldn’t usually. However, panicked whispers, white face masks, snarky remarks and cruel jokes are the real outbreak that’s spreading the area.

Last night, a call was sent to all of us about a case of tuberculosis at SHS. I understand the steps that were taken, I applaud SHS for their quick action and for withholding the name from the public and I thank the people that set to work on helping the people involved. What I do not appreciate, however, is all of the thoughtless remarks that some individuals are making on social media and even in the school about the situation.

As of today, March 23, I have only heard harsh remarks about the parents, kids making fun of the disease and general rumors being spread. Not once have I heard anyone ask or say that they hope the infected student is alright. I’ve also noticed that some kids are wearing paint fume face masks to avoid exposure. The student hasn’t even been at school in recent weeks.

I’m not saying that outbreaks shouldn’t be taken seriously, quite the contrary, but the needed steps have already being taken, even students who were called a second time aren’t 100 percent exposed, if even exposed at all. I live in a house with a microbiologist who revels in learning about disease and also keeping her home clear from it and she isn’t on Facebook complaining about how parents should vaccinate their children.

Speaking of vaccinations, there is a vaccination for Tuberculosis, Bacille Calmette-Gurin (BCG). Before I see more posts about vaccination appear on my feed, I want to clear that BCG is not commonly used in the United States, it is used to prevent severe outbreaks in countries where it is common. According to the CDC themselves, it is not recommended in the States due to its lack of effectiveness. This isn’t the fault of the parents or the student.

Disease is a terrifying thing, I held my breath when there were those Ebola outbreaks, but that shouldn’t make us act crazy. I thought it was silly when the CDC, at least through the media, were having problems containing it, but I didn’t hop over to the social media to bash the people exposed, I worried for them. Taking precautions is always a great thing to do, but please keep it to that. Cover your mouth when you cough, frequently keep your hands clean but don’t start rumors or flip out over something that even I don’t fully understand. The student was the only person found with the disease so far, so instead of causing fear and rudeness, let’s hope that this student is alright and on the road to recovery.