Do I Really Have to Care About Your Preventable Disease?


By Sam Sliman

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

Look I know it sounds bad, but just hear me out. I understand that your terminal disease is easily preventable. Trust me, I get it — I had food poisoning just last semester. But only like 1.5 million people die from vaccine preventable diseases every year, and like, barely any of them are in my country. Do you know how easy it is to ignore that? I’ll never see those people in my life; they might as well not exist. They certainly won’t soon.

Even worse, it’s not like the news channels are even gonna help me here — reporting every day on the 3,500 people that died from Tuberculosis alone isn’t gonna bring in the ratings, especially when there are so many things to worry about at home. Remember when two Americans died of Ebola? That was a catastrophe! Think about how close I was to dying. One of them could have been me! That has to take up at least three months of news. By the time that’s done, I get the news that my Chipotle might have E. coli and all of a sudden my world is ending.

Plus, have you even thought about my dog’s cancer treatment? Sure it might have cost $4,000 to buy Fido another year or two, but his life is so much more valuable than a couple random kids in Ethiopia. Come on, look at that face!

Even worse, if I try to open up my phone to distract from all these horrors, I’m gonna see a graphic telling me how much I need to care about the gentrification of the Smurf Village, or the marginalization of guinea pigs in Papua New Guinea and what can I do but throw up my hands in angst? Obviously, these are important, but I just can’t care about everything! How am I supposed to worry about millions of people dying when things are already so bad?

Friends, I’ve tried my best. I want to solve every one of the world’s problems, I really do. And I’ll get there eventually. You’re just gonna have to understand that my struggles are a little bit more important right now.

  • December 5, 2023