Everyone is freaking out about Ebola. It’s a very serious virus that deserves a serious response and level of responsibility, but the tenor of media coverage has given rise to a certain level of paranoia among those that might have some other more pressing matters to worry about. Like the flu. Or car accidents. Or skin cancer.
Creatives Frank Guzzone and Chris Allick have developed a simple app to calm your Ebola fears (or, depending on where you live, freak you the hell out). Ebola Near Me uses data from an RSS feed of info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other news sites and the geolocation of your device to determine how far you are from any semblance of Ebola danger.
Allick, a creative at Mother New York and also co-creator of the Lick This app, says the idea came from his and Guzzone’s growing frustration with the panicked media coverage of Ebola in the U.S. “It’s a global problem and a global conversation,” says Allick. “News sources should strive to trade in the currency of fact, not emotion. And when we say things like, ‘Are we safe?’ we re-enforce a divide that shouldn’t exist. We’re all on the planet together. It’s very complicated and we’re not experts, but we wanted to see if we could change the conversation.”