Ebola outbreak shows us it’s a small world

In some ways the world today is very small.

But it’s still big enough that we often ignore the things we don’t want to think about, even when we should be paying attention.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is a perfect example.

Sure, it’s getting a lot of press now. There are cases in the United States now, after all. It’s starting to hit a bit closer to home.

But the average person you ask will likely not be able to tell you that the first reports about the outbreak began to surface in March – yes that long ago.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all had what were at least suspected cases by then.

Poor countries all, with less than ideal health infrastructures to deal with the outbreak.

Doctors from aid organizations almost immediately began trying to get people to listen to their assessments that these nations needed help, pronto, to stop the spread of the hemorrhagic fever.

There were a few stories in the western media, but all in all, in spite of the spectre the word Ebola usually conjures here, little was broadcast and even less was actually done. Compare, if you will, to the 24-seven coverage of Robin Williams’s suicide, for example. Not that that death and the way it happened didn’t raise legitimate discussion, but the discrepancy in word count is stark.

Were we just not that interested? Even when, as we’ve seen, all it takes is for someone to hop on a plane for the disease to spread?

Hundreds of Africans had already died before some foreign aid workers got sick and the story started to take on a bit higher profile.

Medical help for these countries is still desperately needed, as we now start to read accounts of Ebola clinic workers nursing patients without even the benefit of medical gloves.

This outbreak has infected and killed more people than all other Ebola outbreaks combined.

Here in the western world we pick and choose the world events with which we involve ourselves. We don’t always choose on the basis of which is the biggest crisis, or where we can be the most effective. Perhaps it’s a good time to re-examine our priorities, given just how small the world really is in 2014.

Submit your letter to the editor online

We want to hear from you!

Submitting a letter to the editor is now easier than ever – you can do it online by going to the Cowichan Valley Citizen website, www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com, and clicking on the Opinion tab. Then click Send us a letter.

Write 300 words or less on the topic of your choice, include your full name (first and last), and a town you hail from.

Include a phone number (which is not printed) so that we can verify your authorship.

Just Posted

Descoteau’s mom expresses outrage over John’s mental fitness decision

Smith vows to keep on fighting for justice for Chemainus murder victim

Get those calendars ready: The Met: Live in HD is back

This season features a lot of favourites with a few skips around the mulberry bush for fun

The Beatles meet Elvis in Cowichan Theatre show

Ben Klein and The Beatles Experience team up for a tuneful evening in Duncan

There’s psychology behind speeding drivers

Unknown factors like bullying at work can play a role

Lexi Bainas Column: A whole sackful of entertainment goodies for you this week

From roistering at Red Arrow to the quiet of the concert hall to solving mysteries, you get it all

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read