African hostility and US fear will not solve Ebola HV crisis

Sierra Cymes

Sierra Cymes
Sierra Cymes

Imagine you are a citizen of one of the African countries infected so far: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone. You have a friend who is at home exhausted with a fever. She has lost her appetite due to abdominal pain, and she complains of headaches and diarrhea.

You see the signs. You’ve already lost a brother and a father.

Ad

The medics in body suits say they are going to help those who feel sick. You see the care in their eyes, and so you let your family walk into the white tents of death.

You will not let your friend be abducted by the aliens. You hide her when they come around.

Only a few of their captives come out of the tents alive, and those who don’t, can’t even see their family one last time because they might become — what was that word? Oh — infected.

You didn’t get to say goodbye to your brother, and your dad said the aliens are just trying to help. Now he’s gone too, and you aren’t sure what to believe.

You wouldn’t ever think of sending your friend.

President Obama said a “national security priority” is now placed on the Ebola epidemic in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” There will be troops sent overseas to set up isolation units and to provide security for public health workers.

Now these Africans will have to be scared to death of not only being abducted, but of being shot while rebelling against the aliens stealing their loved ones.

The United States is scared the virus seeping into the States.

Africa is scared of the international aid.

First of all, the U.S. needs to pipe down. If the virus did enter the States, our medical infrastructure would quarantine the problem almost immediately. This outbreak is a non-threat to the United States, and it is despicable to me how much attention we give to that non-threat. It is a threat to our fellow humans, and not about our own safety. It’s so unlikely to become as much of a problem in America as it is in Africa, it’s almost a non-issue.

Ad

And in Africa, the people need to believe we are on the same side, working towards the same goal. Along with making the African fear of treatment worse, scientists and medics should not have to be protected by the U.S. armed services while doing their job.

There is no approved cure for Ebola VD other than treating the symptoms as they appear. The cases which have increased chances of survival are those where the disease is identified early.  Predictably, the mortality rate in this 2014 outbreak in Africa is worse because of the fear of treatment.

In order to combat this, understanding needs to be reached amongst all of us.

It’s an awareness of what’s going on. It’s an honest humanitarian outreach from the United States and an acceptance of help from the Africans.

Collegian Columnist Sierra Cymes can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sierra_cymes