We are all in this together. What don’t we understand about this?
We may all live differently in this world because of our individuality and our unique situations but we are still living on the same planet. If the planet goes down, it won’t stop and let certain people get off first*. Even if you believe in life after death and are looking forward to a heavenly reward, most of us do not want to hasten that experience and most of us want to leave the planet better for future generations.
The Ebola outbreak impacts all of us. There is no way to close our doors against it. We can be cautious and watchful but we cannot prevent it from coming here if we don’t supply resources there.
Here + There = Everywhere
How can pharmaceutical companies not produce enough of a medicine that can save lives? How can we think that we have borders that can be made so tight nothing untoward will get in?
Why do we judge this as an illness of those poor or those dark people over there (and the compassionate people who help them)?
Do we not remember the AIDS crisis? Didn’t it start in what was thought to be an isolated population of people and then spread quickly throughout the world? Don’t we understand that people are interconnected and that they interact despite the labels some of us put on some of them?
Didn’t the AIDS virus kill millions of people across this planet including the U.S. of A.? Doesn’t it still kill people today? Do we remember that when HIV first appeared on the scene it was thought:
We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979–1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were being reported by doctors in Los Angeles and New York among a number of male patients who had sex with other men. (from the Aids Institute)
Do you remember the hysteria that AIDS was brought here by people from Haiti? Many people in this country actually thought it could be contained – that if you didn’t deal with particular groups of people, you would be fine We forgot that some people are bisexual. We forgot that people gave and received blood that was not tested, It was only later that screening and care protocols were developed.
So who are we to judge Ebola and the handling of this crisis in areas of the world that are poor not because they lack resources but because their resources are used for the benefit of others instead of for them?
What of the case of nurses who, in a human act of caring, console babies whose families have died of Ebola and are then stricken themselves? Could we have suppressed the human urge to soothe a crying infant?
Who are we to limit resources and tailor responses – from what we know worked (for the white American patients who were brought to the U.S.) to something lesser (for the non-white, non-American patient)?
In the haste not to admit people to the hospital to “save costs”, do we compromise providing care?
We are all in this together.
Organizations Fighting Ebola – They can use our support. (This list is in no way comprehensive.)
Project Cure – Medical supplies
Doctors Without Borders – Medical teams on site
Africare – Outfitting healthcare workers
Partners in Health – Provides a preferential option for the poor in health care
American Red Cross – Infrastructure, supplies, and volunteers
Texas Health Worker Becomes 2nd Person Diagnosed in Us with Ebola
Inside the Ebola Outbreak – Frontline – PBS
(*Unless there really is that city waiting in the sky that has been being prepared in covert space trips for those other people to occupy and start a new civilization.)
Thanks for this commentary, Candelaria.