For days all we heard on the cable news was concern about the Ebola crisis. Then – suddenly nothing!
Why no news?
We Americans have such short attention spans and the news media seems to be able to only concentrate on one news item at a time. Whenever something shocking or dramatic happens, it is as if everything else in the world does not exist.
We are so self-absorbed!
And, quite frankly, unless it threatens our lives, our comforts, we Americans don’t seem all that concerned.
The chart above is from data compiled by Google and it shows how interested our country was when several people here were infected with the virus. However, as the cases of Ebola in the USA were contained, we lost interest.
Ebola still is a crisis in West Africa!
The latest stats (and they change daily) I found was:
- Liberia – 3,587 deaths
- Sierra Leone – 3, 132 death
- Guinea – 1,875 deaths
Along with the deaths, more than 20,000 have fallen ill with the disease. It is estimated that six out of ten who are currently ill with the disease will die and many still are not getting any medical care.
Entire society is changed by this crisis!
We think only of the tragedy of the deaths in this situation. However, even after the disease is brought under control, there will remain long-lasting effects for West Africa.
- Children left as orphans when their parents died
- Families who also lost mothers, fathers, grandparents
- The economic blow brought to those communities as the bread-winner for the family has died
- Children who have had to miss months of schooling because schools were closed
- Businesses who have lost income they will never regain because their business was closed, or even if still open, few customers came
Oh well – it doesn’t affect me!
Strange how churches were praying about the crisis when it looked like the virus might threaten the USA. But, now I do not hear any prayers being given for the crisis. It doesn’t affect us – so we are back to praying about things that concern us.
Jacobi Israel – 10/18/12 – 1/10/13
He was born in a West African country. His mother died shortly after his birth. Grandmother brought him and his twin sister to an orphanage seeking help when she could no longer take care of them.
That is how he came into our lives. What hopes and dreams we had as we began to support our daughter and her husband as they took the long road to adoption.
But it was not to be. Before adoption could be completed, little Jacobi died.
How we hate the word “died.” Even writing this, I tried to think of a better way to say it. Being a Christian, I know all the answers we give.
- He went to be with the Lord
- He is in a better place
- He is at rest
But the truth is, he died.
I never got to hold him in my arms, or even see him. Still, somehow I miss him!
Being a Christian, I do have the hope that one day I will be able to hold him in my arms.
Until then, I remember you Jacobi Israel with love!
Situation in USA
Granted, I am concerned about Ebola becoming a serious issue for our country. I have no idea which side of the fence I should be on in this argument about banning travel and putting quarantines in place. I’ll leave that issue for those more qualified than I am.
However, to describe our country’s situation as a crisis and focus so much attention on us seems a little self-centered to me.
Situation in Sierra Leone and other Western African countries
In Sierra Leone Ebola is not just a health crisis – Ebola is a humanitarian disaster of serious proportions. Here are some of the ripple effects that are impacting the country.
- Food prices are up 25%.
- 47% of farmers have had significant disruption to their farming process and yields.
- 75% of those affected by Ebola are farmers.
- Quarantines and blockades have prevented access to farms.
- Agricultural investors have left the country, along with many other business investors.
- Many people are down to only 1 meal a day.
- Markets have been closed, so buying food becoming a challenge.
- Schools have been cancelled.
- The UN is predicting that up to 750,000 people will die of malnutrition and starvation in the next few months.
While we should be concerned about our country, let’s not forget to pray – and to give – to help those countries where there really IS a crisis!