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The Accidental Virus

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 By Gabriel Benjamin

The 'Accidental Ebola Virus'
The ‘Accidental Ebola Virus’

In a word: Hopeless! – dazed in a chaotic and confused crisis caused by avirus. It really has exceeded my capacity to find words which best describe our present predicament as a people. Our fellow countrymen daily are being sent to their untimely grave by the virus with scarcely any befitting burial. Involuntarily, our ingrained cultures no more hold sway.

Hundreds of our people are languishing in hellholes. No end date – the critical moment slips past to make an effective early response to the pandemic. The accidental virus has continued to wreck havoc on us. We are stunned by the devil and sinking in the deep blue sea.

Unfolding before our eyes is a virus that might not only destroy us, but relatively easily – if not brought under urgent control, cause untold impairment across the country, that the government will eventually need millions or potentially billions of dollar to remediate.

Although the World Health Organization has admitted mishandling the early stages of the Ebola Virus outbreak by saying “it failed to recognize the risks of the disease and that nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall.”

But, I guess it is not too much to ask for someone or anyone with a shred of honesty or decency among the handlers of the Ebola Virus Disease to or at least say something about the ‘real reasons’ why we are far from containing the continual spread of the virus, why aren’t they responding to desperate calls for assistance to save people suspected of contracting the virus and why are we far from winning the fight against ‘the accidental virus’. I am a bit puzzled.

It does not smell right. It does not add up. I don’t think we are getting to the whole truth here of why the number of new infectious cases keep soaring high with each passing day, in spite of the huge resources that are being committed to the fight against ‘the accidental virus’.

Those tasked with eradicating ‘the accidental virus’ have so far been negligent in their commitment to reducing its continual spread like other sisters countries – Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal have done. They have been cowardly in enforcing the ‘Public Health Emergency Orders’ passed by the President in his avowed commitment to containing the spike in ‘the accidental virus’, which have now become a scourge that has degenerated to a crisis.

What kind of a people have we become? Indolent on both sides of the house combined with a lackluster will to combat, control and bring the rampaging ‘accidental virus’ to a halt and arrest the crisis? I just hope ‘the accidental virus’ has not gutted our decency and emptied our brains.

What galls me most is that officials at the forefront of confronting ‘the accidental virus’ and their cronies spit venom like the drop of a hat should one have a divergent view from theirs. Worse still, their submittals in so many occasions have been diametrically opposed to the realities on ground.

They have made much capital errors by not stopping the boat of ‘the accidental virus’ ostensibly from sailing any further in the shores of the country. If they care so much about saving human lives and containing ‘the accidental virus’, it is a high time they sunk its boat.

Call me cynical. But if those charged with containing ‘the accidental virus’ in the country have been proactive and influential in any significant way, perhaps, we would have leapfrogged in our fight against it.

We need to put them to task. They should acknowledge that they are our representatives in this fight and not representatives of organisations and their own naked self-interest.

The fight against this ‘accidental virus’ should no longer be shrouded in secrecy and deception. Vicious, negligent, cowardly, profligate and serial liars amidst the ‘soldiers’ should no longer ‘hold the forte’. There should be no hidden agenda forthwith.

The ubiquitous lack of in-coherency should be disbanded. Hare-brains that cannot provide adequate, positive, constructive and useful advice in the response to curtailing the spread of ‘the accidental virus’ should be shown the way out. Those who want to be undedicated and are ridiculously ridiculing the effort of the government should be shown the ‘red card’.

Apparently, the task of quelling the crisis resulting from ‘the accidental virus’ lies squarely on the shoulders of the government. The right time for the government to be responsible, responsive and adequately represent and look after the interest of its citizenry is now.

We have copious resources. We are skilled on all fronts. Let the government double the required efforts – aggressive publicity, engaging to a greater extent contact tracers, constructing and equipping more new laboratories, holding centers, isolation wards and treatment hospital to beat ‘the accidental virus’ and crush the resultant crisis. That would be a better use of our resources and expertise.

Not forgetting the front-line fighters who lost their lives whilst fulfilling the most bail of their responsibilities to their fatherland. They should be awarded ‘Heroes and Heroines of the Year’. Because, at a time when hysteria and fear reigned in the land and many dithered ‘the accidental virus’, they were on the front-line, caring for violently ill people; in the line of duty, they lost their lives. The very least we owe them is to pay glowing tributes to them, immortalize their names and give aid to help sustain their bereaved families.

Finally, no more knee-jerk response in re-entering the war against, and trouncing ‘the accidental virus’. Heaven forbids that we have no real definitive end game plan. No more being cynical by thinking that adopting the age old tactic of ‘when in trouble distract people with confrontations for the sake of domestic opinion polls improvements’.

Now is the time for dramatic and decisive efforts. Let us tap into the ideas of the medical personnel who are on ground. Let us judiciously use the resources of several nations and development partners available at our disposal. Let us fight hard to combat and win the deadly ‘accidental virus’. Together, we can – together we will suppress the crisis in our land.

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