Ebola as it is depicted in the American media; paraded in front of senate hearings and running rampant in minds of the American people does not exist. The killer virus that spreads like wild fire with these horrible deaths, an unstoppable plague that kill’s 90 percent of it’s victims is only dangerous to Dustin Hoffman and those whom he closely works with in a fictional setting.
You are fine.
So is your dog.
This is the Hollywood strain of Ebola.
As we have seen with the vast majority of people airlifted to the western countries, they survive and no one else gets it.
The Real Ebola that is in Africa, its not that dramatic its much more sinister. Only immediate family and healthcare workers are at high risk. The Ebola plays on human compassion, hurting your loved ones and making your every interaction with them deadly. When they die the viral load spikes and no matter your religion, you must burn them for fear of the corpse entering the water table. Imagine it’s your brother or your mother but there is no hospital to take them to or you are out in the bush with no way to travel with them safely. Ebola goes against every natural human instinct to care and mourn. The psychosocial impact of the virus is being underestimated and largely ignored in the media.
Caution is good, I have lived with Ebola across the street from my house. Believe me; Ebola is real and should be taken seriously but taken too far it become a weapon fear to alienate people from the humanity of the situation.
The cure to the Hollywood strain is awareness of both the virus and the reality of living with it. On the American side that means combating the fear with reality and isolationism with compassion; not be pushing these countries further away from global village. On the Liberian side there is a need jobs, education, economic stability and accountability from those that are charged with running the government to change the scarcity mindset of the people.
Ebola is merely exploiting the dangerously fragile situation that your average Liberian has suffered since the war ended. The bright side is the virus could the rallying cry to over haul the country’s infrastructure and create sustainable systemic change. The virus has made people come together in new ways, forcing people to trust each other.
Ubuntu — I am me because of you
the work is exciting
change is tangible
in the face of this virus
we can rebuild like never before
sunset interviews with the rasta men at Pan African beach
a mural about Ebola and social progress at the Pan African beach
Hipco open mic night at Takun J’s place a chance for people to come together and have their voice heard in these desperate times.
Sunset over Monrovia from HOPE 21 AN observatory for kids who have been close to the Ebola virus but show no symptoms.
Inside the office at the Pan African beach, a rasta hang out that fosters free thinking and artistic expression.
Meeting at the MTM staff house with the local community to discuss awareness strategies and sustainable development.
Cyrus checks in on the girls from the More Than Me Academy. Schools are closed indefinitely give the kids nothing to do and puts them at risk in the streets.
A sea of I heart West Point shirts as our community awareness workers gather to give feed back on their work
Meeting with the international rescue committee so much of our days are meeting .. necessary but tedious when there is so much to be done
the more than me academy which has been transformed into the epicenter for effort to kick Ebola out of west point.
The soccer field at Kru each in west point // in spite of it all life carries on
In front of Redempton hospital/holding center to the right a ambulance with a dead body center a stack of corpses in body bags at right our ambulance with 3 children with possible symptoms
Been here for a week watching
now i am ready to speak
Touching down at in Monrovia to face masks and infrared thermometer scans
as i walked out of the airport the security guard whispered
don’t let anyone touch you
Training ambulance driver with the personal protective equipment as More Than Me founder Katie Myler organizes the community response in west point
Trying to maintain some sense of normality we go to Rasta Beach for Katie’s 32nd birthday. Last year for her birthday she opened a school that is no the home of the response team and ambulance unit
Atop of the more than me guest house that has been shut down /// how can this be used to in the battle of Ebola
sunset interview with ester, who is a staff work at the More Than Me house. Her only brother died of ebola int he bush and she is working to spread awareness in the community that is being ravaged by the virus
a meeting of the partners in the battle to contain Ebola in west point, organizing the different arms of outreach to maximize the impact
Our ambulance drivers and attendants in the back of a of the pick up truck headed to Elwa MSF treatment center for training on using the personal protective equipment
From the terrace of the Mamba Point hotel. This is where all the journalists and international aid workers are staying even during the war this was a safe zone.
A typical day on Rasta beach, music and laughter hair being braided small food being sold off the tops of peoples heads in spite of the virus life carries on arties made music is played and people try to keep their spirits afloat
The pool at our hotel which is also an apartment complex housing some of my friends from European Union who were hosting a topless and cocktails sundown party. For months not of these people have been to any gatherings they had been shattered in their homes and we’re beginning to go stir crazy small events like this help give people sanity in this growing crisis.