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The Monrovia Rumors about Ebola

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When the Ebola virus disease first emerged in Liberia, having been initially experienced in neighboring Guinea, many Liberians greeted the news with denials. Ironically, the emergence of this deadly disease was seen by some of these Liberians as a ploy by the government to attract funds for the personal pockets. Without even understanding what actually was Ebola or it came from Guinea to Liberia, they jumped into such conclusion.

Even the second outbreak of the disease which inflicted huge casualties on many Liberians could not drive their thinking as to what really was this disease; how are people really infected; what are the symptoms, etc. etc., but continue to sustain such belief that Ebola was not real, and that the government had created this scheme to attract international funding. Interestingly, the majority of those subscribing to this myth were people who claimed to be either educated or in university – and this is from my own encounters with them in entertainment centers and other gathering.

With the communication, super highway or internet available for little or nothing, none of these brothers and sisters could even develop any sense of reasoning to check it up as a way of verifying whether or not their thoughts were in consonance with their so-called education or university status, despite the education a few others, including me, tried to provide on the Ebola virus and its history. And that’s how the situation occasioned the huge number of cases and deaths up to present.

Against, we must appreciate the sustained awareness and sensitization across Liberia- in communities, on radio and television stations, as well as the social network and person–to-person campaign on the preventive measures prescribed by the government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and international partners. You may not even believe that the presence of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia has another understanding in certain quarters of our Liberian society- mehn..,

If you’ve ridden a taxi cab, a commercial bus or visited the market places, some offices or even entertainment centers, you would listen to the rumors all over. And the rumor about the whole Ebola stuff is that it was the ‘Queen of Sheba’, who I really don’t know and have not seen, but heard of her, that brought Ebola to Liberia. Can you imagine!!!

According to the rumor mongers, the Queen of Sheba was in Liberia at the invitation of the government and President since “26 Eve”. They say, she even left on Saturday, August 2, 2014 – just imagine they know everything about the Queen of Sheba (whether they have ever seen or interacted with her or  not, they explain as if they are close to her if at all she really exist now). It’s actually useless to go through the entire rumor owing to its lack of comprehension.

Now, from denial to Queen of Sheba, it has generated into the poisoning of drinking wells in communities in Monrovia and its environs by some undesirable individuals, who these same rumor mongers say, are doing this on instruction from a certain ‘government officials’ to justify the presence of Ebola in Liberia- can you imagine again.

One may not want to deny the fact that there may be some unscrupulous persons perpetrating wickedness, but to suggest that “government officials” were doing this to justify the presence of Ebola in Liberia so that the international community can pump in more money, is not only a myth, but very unpatriotic. Even though it may seem, not worth responding to, it is also important to put a halt to these things so that it will stop giving a different picture of Liberia outside.

Listening to all of these rumors leads me to wonder about the value of the education some people acquire. If and only if we could read and understand or even listen to the radio- local and international, despite our so-called education, there would be no need to even think about disputing the Ebola virus or attributing it to someone.

Ebola, which has no vaccine, causes severe muscular pain, fever, headaches and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding, vomiting and toileting watery stool; and contracted through contact with a person already gravely infected. It has killed around two-thirds of those it has infected since its emergence in 1976, with two outbreaks registering fatality rates approaching 90 percent. The death rate in the current outbreak is a lower-than-average 55 percent. Ebola could cause “catastrophic” loss of life and severe economic disruption if it continued to spread, according to the World Health Organization.

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