Saturday, 9 August 2014
Etcetera Writes ---After Ebola What Next?
Ebolaphobia is the new term in town as panic has swept through Nigeria and beyond in the wake of the lethal virus. The campaign has seen so much twists and turns such that the fear of the disease is causing more harm than the disease itself. But from all we have heard and seen in the past few weeks, to doubt the existence of ebola will be the height of stupidity.
It is real and it kills and everyone should take all precautionary measures suggested by health organisations.
That being said, there are still so many confusing angles on the disease that need clarification. Are we talking about the same highly contagious ebola virus that was first discovered in Congo in 1976? If so, how did it disappear only to resurface with a big-bang 38 years later? Did they find the cure in 1976? If they did, how is it that there’s no more cure for it today? Let’s say they didn’t find the cure back in 1976, but how was it contained? Why can’t they apply the same method to the present outbreak? Isn’t it weird how this supposedly highly contagious virus went dormant and made a perfectly timed comeback 38 years later, just about the same time an American pharmaceutical company developed a secret serum for it?
Are they saying that the Congolese that were infected in 1976 didn’t mingle with families or other natives in their communities? Or were they diagnosed the same minute they got infected and isolated immediately for quarantine before they could hug, kiss or make love to their wives and mingle with others? Can somebody please fill in these gaps for me?
Why are they causing panic with this disease? Who benefits from this pandemonium? We are not the same stone-age Africans, so they should come up with a better marketing strategy for their drugs. This is just the same template that was used in marketing AIDS. We need something better and more convincing. We are already too familiar with this same hysterics, this same “OMG”, the world is coming to an end and we are all going to die formula. Hasn’t HIV/AIDS virus been here for over 40 years now and has the world ended?
They are marketing ebola like the 3D version of AIDS and again we are all running helter skelter, scared of touching anything or anybody in the process. We can contract the ebola virus from a doorknob, a hand shake, or touching a contaminated body fluid. But can everybody please calm down for a minute and let’s reason this issue properly? because we might all actually end up dying from panic instead of the real deal.
I am trying to think out here, if there’s truly no cure for ebola, then what are all the foreign aid workers still doing at those clinics where they are at risk of contracting the same virus with a 99.9% mortality rate? Well maybe they knew from the outset that they would be flown back to America and get cured with a secret serum.
Ebola is a contagious disease, but if it is that contagious as we are being made to believe, one would expect the whole of Congo to have been wiped off the earth by now. Africans live in a communal system where everybody hugs, kisses, shakes hands and shares almost everything from buckets to bathrooms and latrines.
W.H.O. has come out screaming that ebola is not airborne but the Canadian Public Health Department says ebola can be airborne because if a person coughs or sneezes or vomits, some of the droplets with the virus travel through the air. So whose report do we believe?
How do we define “contact” in the ebola context, if it spreads only by bodily fluids? Did the 70 people on the flight with Mr. Sawyer the Liberian diplomat actually touch his body fluids? Did they touch his vomit, faeces or sweat? Did he sneeze on them? How did they come into contact with him? So much conflicting talks of how ebola kills but none is clear on exactly how individuals can be really exposed. Health officials need to fill in the blanks. The ignorance of the situation and the panic it is causing will eventually kill more people than the virus itself.
We were bamboozled and sent scampering when they discovered AIDS, but the same smart individuals who discovered and christened it HIV/AIDS decided in all smartness that an anti retro-viral suppressant is more essential to victims than a permanent cure. They have made us aware that a permanent cure to AIDS would be against their interest. They have created a sick world where the strong prey on the weak and the intelligent few thrive on the ignorance of others. The same smart guys that invented computer virus got celebrated for inventing the anti virus.
Now another set of smart thinking individuals and their pharmaceutical companies are about to have a fat pay cheque with their newly invented ebola vaccines. Panicked Nigerians are already getting fleeced with fake ebola hand sanitisers. Whenever a pharmaceutical company wants to push a new drug, they come out with a new disease or enhance the potency of an old one with their media machine.
These pharmaceutical companies know that in population, Lagos is the size of most American cities and Nigeria is more than half the size of the US, that Nigerians will be scared knowing that if ebola gets a foothold here, the body count will make the kwashiorkor epidemic of the Biafran war look like a cupcake. And therefore we will automatically grab the $200m Intervention Fund from the World Bank. After which their health arm will voluntarily introduce the cure for ebola to our shores and save the day. For Christ’s sake, how much longer will this continue?
How many people will have to die before the rest of the world finally gets off its duff and stop using Africa as a guinea pig for every new medical invention? They say Africa has found it pretty hard to buy her way out of ignorance. Is the $200m thrown at ebola supposed to change the same ignorant and superstitious Africa?
This same attitude of throwing money at Africa is precisely what guarantees the spread of diseases. And if ignorant locals are the reason the virus became an outbreak, haven’t “The big AIDS and how to get it campaign” been in effect in America and beyond for decades already? So how is it that the spread of ebola in Africa is being blamed on ignorant locals? Something stinks here, and someone is going to have to cough up the truth before it’s too late.
Please we all should be very careful as we go about our daily affairs and adhere to all safety measures prescribed by health authorities. The cure for ebola will be found soon, if it’s not already cooling off in the vaults of a lab somewhere. The disease is predictably going out of control because of the panic surrounding it. By choosing to heighten its effects, we are only rolling the dice, instead of taking matters into our own hands.