EXORCISING EBOLA

This life is just a pot of beans. I really don’t know how this statement came about or a specific meaning for it. I guess it just means that people get to fret over small stuff. The need to remain alive drives people to believe anything. Add ignorance and gullibility to the equation et voila, we have this morning’s headlines. My doctor says the fear of a disease tends to kill faster than the disease itself. With Ebola on rampage, the world is thrown into a sort of turmoil. But backup a bit, what is Ebola?

Well, stories of Ebola have been rampaging everywhere for weeks now. Everyone is fretting about its deadliness and the fact that there is no known cure for it. Preventive measures are being advised daily to prevent contacting and spreading the disease. Hospitals are all on alert, people are on the lookout, even borders have been shut down to prevent the spread of the disease. In my own small way, I decided not be ignorant about the disease and went ahead to gobble up some literature on the nature of the disease.

The disease is known as the Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola Haemorrhagic fever (EHF) and it has been around for quite some time. It was first documented to have been spotted in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. The ongoing outbreak in West Africa is thought to be the largest so far. It is a viral fever that appears in fruit bats (even though it doesn’t seem to affect them) and is transmitted when they come in contact with land mammals. Human infection was thought to have been caused when a human had contact with an infected mammal. The symptoms only show signs between two days to three weeks of infection and they appear in two stages. The first stage is the flu-like stage where fever, fatigue, headaches, joint weakness, muscular and abdominal pains are experienced. Chest pains, cough, hiccups and shortness of breath can also be experienced. In the second stage, bleeding is usually rampant. The victim tends to bleed from puncture points on the skin and also, coughs, vomits and stools blood. At this stage, the victim is said to be very infectious and should be handled with extreme caution.

No known vaccine has been developed against the Ebola virus. Only preventive measures can be taken. Infected victims can be given saline solution to replenish the body fluids they have lost. Medical staff are advised to be fully covered to protect themselves from contact with the body fluids of terminally infected victims. Hands should be washed and disinfected after contact with victims. Equipment should sterilised before and after use. Care should be taken when handling dead bodies of victims as they are also contagious. Cremation seems to be the best way to properly dispose of dead bodies. Also, victims and suspected victims should be quarantined. Food, especially meat, should be handled with care and thoroughly cooked. Sweat and saliva from infected people is also said to be contagious. Semen from male victims is also contagious.

Now, after all that enlightening talk which is readily available on the internet, one would think people would not be so ignorant as to handling the Ebola virus but no, people are so gullible they would believe anything. When the Ebola virus was first reported in Nigeria, people went into a panic frenzy. Everybody was scared because nobody really understood it and the fact that there was no cure for it did not help matters one bit. I attended a church service where people were skeptic about giving handshakes to their neighbours because it was said that contact transmit Ebola. I saw a woman run to the tap after she finished shaking me. I, on the other hand, used my handkerchief and flung it into the dustbin immediately (Man aint catching that shii. Aint nobody got time for that). Ebola had become a plague; people were on high alert. Now, news started filtering in that there was a way to be immune to Ebola. It was rumoured that bitter kola served as an immunity to the virus and suddenly, bitter kola became a revered commodity. People were stockpiling baskets of bitter kola in their houses. My mother promptly showed me the basket of bitter kola in the house and proceeded to make sure that we ate at least two every day. The nation was in turmoil and bitter kola had come to save the day.

I had thought that weird business was going to end but I was gravely mistaken. Brethren, I was woken this morning by my aunt with the news that I had to take my bath with salt water this morning. “What fuckery is this??!!”, I asked myself. “Is this an exorcism? Am I rice? Does Ebola sound like an earthworm?” These were just a few of the questions I asked myself. Where did this news come from, kwanu? Are the salt producers’ association behind this? Fam, I was so appalled this morning. I just turned and went back to sleep. Nigerians are easily susceptible to ignorance and gullibility. People believe a story because they want to believe it and every other person is telling so it must be true. Facts are facts and lame stories wont changed them. The only time salt was even mentioned was where it is in the normal saline solution (salt and sugar) given to the victims to rehydrate them. Salt is not preventive, it doesn’t do jack to Ebola. I won’t be a part of the party of those bathing with salty water or those that refused to shake Debola in the office this morning. Besides, I am the salt of the earth. ROTFLMFAO!!!! Although, thinking back in retrospect, Nigerians have always been terrified of diseases and proposed numerous humorous cures for them. Despite what is described as the sorry state of our nation, the average Nigerian doesn’t want to die hence the need for a cure. Ebola will come and go but my countrymen’s sense of humour will still remain. Dead men tell no tales. Nigeria, we hail thee.

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