Ebola has caused the death of over 1300 people in the West African countries… However, what the media portrays is not the stories of the victims.
There are many people out there who believe that we are on the brink of a Hollywood style apocalypse…
Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar called the Caribbean Community for a meeting to take preemptive measures against the Ebola virus outbreak and Chikungunya to ensure the health of millions of people living in the Caribbean. Her appeal is for heads of states in the region to act now instead of waiting until a crisis hits. Although the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has assured the public that the risk is minimum for people in the Caribbean to get infected with the Ebola virus, we still need to take preventive steps to protect our communities.
Caption:MONROVIA, LIBERIA – AUGUST 21: People with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground after arriving by ambulance and just before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on August 21, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia. The MSF center has 120 beds and is being expanded, making it the largest Ebola treatment center in history. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,200 people in West Africa. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
However, taking steps does not mean striking fear and panic, which is what has mainly been taking place with the help of sensationalized media. Ebola has caused the death of over 1300 people in the West African countries Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. However, what the media portrays is not the stories of the victims. What we see is a concern for the outbreak to spread beyond African borders.
When reading up on Ebola one thing has become clear, we have reached a point in history where we are terrified that life has finally caught up with art. There are many people out there who believe that we are on the brink of a Hollywood style apocalypse. We know the virus has a 90% mortality rate, but we have no clue how it resurged and there is no vaccine. These are factors that have a lot of people on edge even on our side of the pond. It’s so bad that about two weeks ago Piarco International Airport in Trinidad flagged a passenger flying in on British Airways as a ‘high-risk carrier’ of the Ebola. It later turned out that the passenger was a Nigerian doctor from London who hadn’t even set foot on the African continent in the last five years.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for screenings of people leaving the infected countries. Many flights to and from the region have already been cancelled. Both Vietnam and Burma had passengers flying in from Nigeria a few days in quarantine to make sure they were not infected before allowing them into the country.
The epidemic has hit Liberia, the worst of the three infected countries. The first cases were reported two months ago in that country and now the death toll is almost 500. The situation reached an all time peak on Wednesday when the government decided to quarantine the West Point and Dolo Town slums in an effort to subside the disease. The problem with this lockdown is that it came without any warning, which sparked riots in the quarantine zone between soldiers and those on lockdown. The inhabitants of West Point, which is believed to be populated by a least 75.000 people, woke up on Wednesday morning under strict quarantine, much to their surprise.
Caption:MONROVIA, LIBERIA – AUGUST 20: Liberian riot policemen enforce a quarantine on the West Point slum on August 20, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The quarantine of West Point, a congested favella of 75,000 people, began Wednesday, as the government tries to stop the spread of the virus in the capital city. A mob overran and closed an Ebola isolation ward there on August 16. The Ebola virus has killed more than 1,200 people in four African nations, more in Liberia than any other country. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Food prices have tripled in the last 24 hours and there are already cases of looting. People cannot leave the area to make a living or evacuate all together as they are met with violent reactions from authorities. A couple of universal human right laws have been violated for sure. The thing is that we have seen this before. Not in person, but on the big screen, more than once. On second thought, life is not catching up to art. Instead, we are imitating art. The problem is serious, People are dying and aren’t we focusing the narrative on finding a cure or help?
The two American missionaries have survived Ebola with the help “experimental” drugs. There was an effort to save the life of the Spanish priest but it was too late for him. So why aren’t we trying to save the lives of those infected in West Africa? The drug was used on the three Liberian Health Care workers who have been showing signs of improvement. If this were a Hollywood movie, we would have been looking for our happy ending.
Caption:ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 21: Dr. Kent Brantly (R), an Ebola patient at Emory Hospital, stands with his wife, Amber Brantly, during a press conference announcing his release from the hospital on August 21, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Brantly and another patient, Nancy Writebol, were released from Emory Hospital after receiving treatment for Ebola that they both contracted while working as medical missionaries in Liberia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
According to a BBC article, so far Ebola has claimed at least 1300 ( in OCT even closer to 4500) lives and the number of people affected are in the 2000, with each day new cases detected. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared global health emergency last week and announced that it is going to take at least 6 months to stabilize the infected regions.