Dear World – especially the media beginning with the otherwise-respectable BBC, about this ‘ebola in Africa’ story, first of all: AFRICA is a CONTINENT, NOT a country!
It is 2014 but you guys still talk and walk around as if you’re being led by the explorer Speke or David Livingstone, and it is so downright irritating that we are about to gang up on you and sneeze ebola all over your seemingly-ignorant faces!
Okay, that’s a bit extreme but you already seem to think that we generally present that risk just by being in existence. We know that you know better because when it’s found in Dallas, Texas you say it’s Dallas, Texas, and when it’s Spain you say Spain (#SpainIsNotUganda will not be resurrected in case this thing becomes serious).
Secondly, Ebola is not a traditional ‘African’ thing like a dance or a type of food – it is a disease and as you are beginning to notice, it can be contracted and will kill anyone regardless of skin colour, race or passport colour.
That’s why it is not useful to keep mentioning in stories about the United States chap who contracted the disease, that “He caught the virus in his native Liberia”. If it were such a necessary detail, then all coverage of sports personalities who excel at sprinting, basketball, soccer and so on and so forth should include mention of where they originate from.
Duncan was diagnosed in the US and was sick over there, and came into contact with more than fifty (50) people. Find them, treat them. End the spread of the disease. WITHOUT continually deflecting everything to “it came from Africa”.
And, by the way, maybe it did come from one part of the continent of Africa, and there are a large number of stupidly managed countries that have allowed the disease to spread. I don’t like the people mismanaging those countries, but please let’s address that later – it’s a rather more complicated topic.
Third…I’ve stopped counting:
Today we woke up to news that a Spanish nurse has contracted Ebola, being the first person to get the disease outside of West Africa <— an odd angle, but perhaps one that conforms to our general attitude that it’s normal for Ebola to be present in West Africa.
That attitude, by the way, is more blatantly voiced by the European Commission spokesman, Frederic Vincent, who announced today that the Commission had sent a letter to the Spanish health minister “to obtain some clarification” about how the nurse had contracted Ebola despite all the precaution taken, and is quoted by the BBC as having said:
You see this?
“There is obviously a problem somewhere.” because how can someone in Spain get Ebola? In West Africa, well…
…the BBC World Service news coverage of the Ebola outbreak in Europe (which is reported as “Spanish nurse first person to have contracted disease outside West Africa”) was interspersed with some vibrant mentions of “20,000 dead…” casual as you may please.
You see, at the end of August the World Health Organisation said up to 20,000 people might die of the disease before it is brought under control.
And the day before the Spanish nurse was uncovered, 120 people had died in Sierra Leone – on that day alone!
And, ‘they’ announced, there had been at least 7,500 confirmed infections worldwide, and by November 2 the New England Journal of Medicine says 20,000 will have died if nothing changes in the way the disease is managed.
The mismanagement of that disease falls again to the leaders of some of these countries on the continent of Africa. Not all the countries, and certainly not the entire continent, and it doesn’t help that some (if not all) of the strains of this virus and its sister Marburg are named after parts of Africa – including one district of Uganda 😦 which will be renamed henceforth.
But the mismanagement of this disease needs to be sharply addressed, and it needs to be addressed by YOU guys – Africans of different nationalities. We need to stop being so intellectually weak!
Wash your hands! Use proper disinfectants! Invest in Health and Education! Build hospitals instead of flashy mansions! Buy soap, not beer! Research rather than do exams! Make sense, not war! Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery!
The ironies that this disease is exposing us to are annoying:
Meanwhile, the first black President of the United States yesterday announced that incoming air passengers from West Africa would undergo additional screening measures on top of an already tedious process; the country that freely took in so many Africans from West Africa during the Slave Trade days is now going to make it harder for free West Africans to go over the ocean…
And the biggest irony of them all, will come if one day someone says Ebola began in Liberia instead of the Congo; because that will mean it came from the United States who established Liberia as a country, to which freed slaves were repatriated back in 1820, and where the biggest outbreak of the disease has taken place since it was first identified.