Why Ebola Aid Workers Are Quarantining Themselves When Scientists Say They Don’t Need To

Allen Mann is a missionary, not a doctor. Yet when he returned from a trip to the Liberian capital of Monrovia with the group Crossway International, some people in his small town of Payson, Arizona, treated his arrival with scorn and fear.

“One of our neighbors got a little paranoid, and started asking questions about Ebola on some radio show,” Mann said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

“I moved to Payson to avoid things like this. … but now ebola may be on my doorstep,” his neighbor wrote in an email to The Common Sense Show, a conservative radio broadcast. “I’m sure he and his family will be at the local grocery store and WalMart soon and this small town could be at risk.”

After the story got picked up by local news outlets, Mann and his family found themselves sudden targets of ugly on-air and online criticisms, some escalating into threats.

“Some people commented in a lynch mob mentality, like, ‘Oh, we should torch his house’ and things like that,” said Mann. “Some people were just really angry at me for going and coming back, calling us all kinds of names like ‘idiots’ —> Read More Here

Everyone can have an impact on the dynamics of a group, particularly if they join forces with others

How do we as individuals prompt our fellow humans to behave socially? This is one of the central questions relating to social dilemmas in game theory. Previous studies assumed that it is almost impossible to control cooperation in large groups. Nonetheless, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology have now demonstrated that each of us can exert an influence on the cooperative behaviour of others. However, the possibilities available to the individual are limited in this regard, particularly in the context of large groups. The researchers therefore also examined how group success is influenced when several like-minded members join forces. The mathematically calculated result corroborates experience: we can achieve more when we act together. —> Read More Here

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