If you knew that a bomb was about to go off, surely you would do anything in your power to stop it. Taking into account the human loss and your own safety. The next six weeks are of vital importance.
Currently we are sitting on a time bomb. All of us know about it, but the penny has not dropped; yet!
In December the first cases of Ebola started surfacing in Guinea and Liberia, and after about four thousand died since the outbreak. No serious alarm bells yet. Then a mere two cases were registered in Texas that the World made a bit of a fuss. Not enough yet to have a significant impact. People feel strangely disconnected from those out worldly white suited workers. The next six weeks shall be a serious turn around point for the whole world. Ebola is not ‘top of mind’ for countries unaffected by Ebola and that is the real treat. Watch this space, the table is about to turn.
Without boggling you with smart maths and stats, let me enlighten you to the low down of it all. Believe me this epidemic will become pandemic in the next 6 weeks. At present it exponentially doubles every three weeks. At present 4500 died, 9000 are infected. In six weeks that will change to a 100 000 deaths and 1.4 million infections. The current effort to curb it is too slow, and the resources promised and pledges is coming in too little and too late. This is a bleak outlook indeed. Now if 70% of the current 9000 were to be quarantined, we might have been able to turn this thing around. But imagine trying to logistically quarantine 1.4 million infected people. If 1.4 million are infected, the whole world would have reached a turning point, and Ebola might somehow affect each person at some point or another.
As usual, America is blowing their two infected cases completely out of proportion, placing the spotlight on them and diverting the real focus of the epidemic in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Panic can definitely spread the virus. The solution to curbing it is rapid education and serious financial intervention. Mr Duncan from Liberia spent 10 days with his family, none of them are infected. Two medical personnel that treated him while he was dying in hospital became infected. But I hear schools in the state of Ohio and Texas are considering to close because he travelled through the state! Three cases and Obama declares CZAR, put that in perspective.
Nigeria and Senegal are shining examples whom successfully contained the spread and has been declared Ebola-free after 21 days of no new cases.
Here in West Africa, Ebola news related coverage is 24/7 about 80%. In six weeks from now, it might be the same all over the world. This as I said should be the case right now. The clock is ticking.
It’s only human to think the only option is to stop all flights to and from West Africa, and of course that was most countries immediate solution. That decision would be made upon the fear factor and not logic. Imagine you’re in a country, where ever. Your whole family were infected, some has died, and you are left-the only survivor. Do you still think all borders should be shut? Those countries affected are in urgent need of medical supplies, medical gear and food supplies. Without flights, how are those supplies to reach the affected country? Military presence to maintain peace and stability is a necessity. . Each affected country is loosing at least 30% of their GDP. It has a huge impact on the work force, economic and logistics of transporting food and medical supplies.
Currently we are talking about the treatment and deaths of infected people. Fifty years from now we will talk about the economic impact this epidemic had on the world’s economics.
In this modern age, it’s normal for people to travel for all kinds of reasons apart from business and commerce. It’s only human to unite families spread all over the continents, and it’s human to do anything to survive this epidemic. So people are traveling to Ebola infected countries and wishing to leave it for different personal reasons. The only way to curb infection is to step up airport health screening all over the world.
I know most people’s reaction is that the affected countries must financially ‘sort themselves’. Come on, be realistic. Which African country actually budgeted for an Ebola outbreak? Within the first 3 months all their excess development funds were reallocated to managing the day-to-day onslaught of the outbreak. By now, 6 months later, they are scraping the bottom of their actual spending capital. Just imagine in Sierra Leone, all of the districts are now infected. To minimalize the spread, each district is quarantined from the next. So logistically, no food can distributed nationally. Now imagine trying to feed your Nation on a day-to-day basis, when they are not producing their own food as before. Any country would go belly-up in a matter of weeks. Sierra Leone and Liberia has reached that point already. Imagine trying to contain a scared, terrified and hungry Nation. Still think they should sort themselves out? Back to my Military support, get it a.s.a.p. And no, I am not suggesting the UN Peace Keepers. Send ones who can actually use guns to keep desperate people from killing actual survivors. CNN estimates the Ebola crises could amount to costs of 32 billion. We are talking about people’s lives, send the aid, and stop splitting hairs. Or consider how much your own country will need to spend to manage the Ebola infections once it reaches your borders.
Can you hear the ticking of the time bomb yet?
This is a ripple effect. Many people are standing with their heads buried in the sand, saying they have no infections, and it’s not their problem. In 12 months from now, you’ll realize how wrong you were. By them, it would have affected each and everybody somehow.
Keep in mind that the media is using a general brush reporting that West Africa is infected. Really – that upsets me because of only 6 countries have had infections and two were declared Ebola free this morning! And maybe I should mention that it freaks me out that reporters say Ebola is in Africa. Seriously, Africa is not a country, it’s a continent. Maybe I should mention that Italy is closer to Liberia than South Africa, and thy have daily ships and boats loads of refugees.
I cannot stress enough that education and information is part the key to our solution. Because of ignorance, people are stigmatizing the disease. The same thing happened in the early 80’s with Aids. It is said that a man survived Ebola in Liberia. His car broke down, and nobody in his community would touch his car in fear of contracting the disease. If you mention you are from West Africa, people take a step back. The AFCON Soccer tournament in January is due. Soccer supporters boo-ed the players from Senegal and Liberia in recent games. Come on, be realistic! In the UK, a Sierra Leone reporter was turned away from her rented accommodation due to stigmantation.
Fact: A person can carry the virus and not show ANY symptoms for 10 days.
So many can travel without a fever, and not show any signs, reach a country and spread the virus.
Fact: A person only transfer the virus once he/she shows symptoms.
Medical personnel should have this on the TOP of their Minds 24/7.
Fact: The virus is ONLY transferable with body fluids.
Sweaty touched surfaces are infections for a few hours.
So go and read NOW all you can about Ebola. Educate yourself and inform others around you.
Do not avert your gaze…
Start at website called Eboladeeply.org