Ebola: Why is it so bad? (Part 7)

This article continues a series of posts examining non-biological factors contributing to the Ebola crisis’s severity. This week’s angle on the outbreak is humanitarian. Beyond social and economic factors that contribute to the disease’s spread, the real reason why Ebola “is so bad” is its terrible human toll. Although empirical, detached analysis is a valuable approach to understanding and addressing social issues, I believe an empathetic approach is equally important. To that end, I am wrapping up this series with two pieces of media that establish a human connection to the crisis.

 This NPR article delves into the disease’s human toll, especially the impact of the impact of physical separation necessary to prevent transmission on the ability of friends and family to care for and grieve over loved ones. It explains and, more importantly, illustrates the hardship this causes. Although it’s definitely an intense read, it’s brief and not graphic. It even has pictures. So go look at those, at least.

If you have half an hour (and feel up to it), I recommend watching this 27 minute Frontline documentary on the Ebola crisis. Even though it’s a little more than two months old, it’s definitely still relevant to what’s going on today. The program presents an evenhanded view of what finding and caring for ebola patients actually looks like. It’s pretty gut wrenching, but—again—not terribly graphic.

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