For weeks the ebola epidemic has been making lots of news. There is no cure for it and only an experimental vaccine is available. This week, instead of isolation and control of this epidemic, there is riots, chaos and ignorance which isn’t surprising, this is third world Africa. But this threatens everyone, over time.
Kroma came to the West Point holding center with her sister, her three children, a cousin named Bindu, and two other family members. They are all women, or girls — most caregivers in Liberia are — and they washed Kroma’s clothes, fed her rice, wiped down her body, and cleaned up her vomit with a rag and some chlorine.
Those are the kinds of chores that give you Ebola. And the girls had no gloves. All the gloves the Ministry of Health brought this place when it opened yesterday, all 150 of them, were gone by the middle of the night.
That’s when three people escaped. Because Sam Tarplah and his staff didn’t have any gloves, they couldn’t restrain the patients who wanted to flee. They could only plead.
“We begged them, told them people are coming tomorrow to help you,” Tarplah said. “But there was no way we could fight them.”
Anything that isn’t nailed down, vanishes. Many professional healthcare people are becoming increasingly scared of working with these patients due to the high chance of being infected, too.
A mob descended on the center at around 5:30 p.m., chanting, “No Ebola in West Point! No Ebola in West Point!” They stormed the front gate and pushed into the holding center. They stole the few gloves someone had donated this morning, and the chlorine sprayers used to disinfect the bodies of those who die here, all the while hollering that Ebola is a hoax.
They ransacked the protective suits, the goggles, the masks. They destroyed part of Tarplah’s (the doctor) car as he was fleeing the crowd.
We see the same sort of irrationality here in the US. Antivaccinationists, for example, are experts at denial of reality. We have several contagious diseases breaking out here due to antivaccinationists refusing to protect us by getting their shots.
So the tragic sight of Africans who have even less information, doing destructive things, refusing to understand diseases and how they spread, will lead to this epidemic getting much worse.
…they took mattresses and bedding, utensils and plastic chairs.
“Everybody left with their own thing,” she said. “What are they carrying to their homes? They are carrying their deaths.”
She said the police showed up but the crowd intimidated them.
“The police were there but they couldn’t contain them. They started threatening the police, so the police just looked at them,” she said. And then mob left with all of the patients.
Sounds really familiar! This is why mob rule is very dangerous. Romantics love the idea of mob rule but usually rue the day this actually happens. Western Europe and the US, by refusing to put all of these nations under strict embargo to contain the epidemic, are endangering all of us totally unnecessarily.
When I was a child, anyone with contagious diseases like whooping cough, for example, was put under quarantine. Yellow fever would see victims restricted to isolation wards on islands in the Deep South, for example.
Now, everyone holds their breath and diseases spread and the concept of quarantine is poorly applied.
209 Greenhollow Rd
Petersburgh, NY 12138
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’
Click on the Pegasus icon on the right sidebar to donate via Paypal.