In the spring of this year, people began to die in Guinea. Shortly thereafter the culprit was named: Ebola. A viral, zoonotic (originating in animals, then spread to humans) disease without vaccine or cure. Ebola quickly crossed the borders of other West African nations, then, via air travel of infected persons, breached the European coast in Spain and American shores. Ebola, to date claiming over 7,500 lives, is a tragedy of pandemic proportion.
Regarding our worldwide readiness to identify and address apparently increasingly probable eruptions of deadly (including the far worse air-borne) diseases, so beyond my knowledge base, I can make no judgment. According to news reports, however, international coordination requires more intentional government to government collaboration in league with the United Nations’ World Health Organization and other numerous on-the-ground charitable and medical assistance operations.
Can anything good come out of Ebola? Nothing is good about Ebola. Still, to reply to my question, my learning or re-learning is my awareness of the interconnectedness of our global village.
(I was reminded of this in a personal way. Most recently, I sought urgent care for what turned out to be a severe bout of walking pneumonia. Sitting down to complete the raft of paperwork, at the top of page 1, I read: Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle or stomach pain, unexplained bleeding or bruising, vomiting? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, recently have you traveled or been in contact with anyone who has traveled to regions of West Africa? If your answers to both questions is “yes”, please return immediately to the intake desk.)
Despite the sickeningly multiple examples of world-round factional, parochial, and racial violence, all, for me, demonstrable evidence of our lack of awareness and acceptance of our universal bondedness, we, each and all, are members of one race called human, sharing one world called Earth.
Another question. When can we learn to engage in war against all diseases that defile body and soul and not against persons who embrace, embody differing cultural, political, or spiritual identities?