Ebola and Coronavirus — the mourning after

Andrew Scott Chapman
3 min readSep 22, 2022

Whilst I was browsing Netflix, looking for something cheerful and uplifting to watch, I noticed a movie about an Ebola outbreak. Perfect, I thought.

Set in Lagos, Nigeria, “93 Days” is based on the true story of an outbreak that started when a Liberian-American diplomat arrived in the country, already infected with Ebola.

Ebola, which sounds like it should be the name of a fuzzy little animal, is actually one of the deadliest diseases known to humanity. It’s truly a slippery and nasty piece of work.

With an average fatality rate of 50%, it’s the kind of thing that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Or maybe you would — I’m not here to judge.

Ebola is referred to as a “viral haemorrhagic fever”, which basically means that it gives you a severe fever and causes internal bleeding. It also causes muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Like a vampire that wants to “do you slowly”, Ebola kills you by completely draining your body of fluids.

Unlike Coronavirus, Ebola spreads exclusively by fluids and contact. It can be in your blood, saliva, mucous, sweat, or vomit. If you’re lucky and it lands on your skin, you’re probably OK — but if it gets into your nose or your mouth or into a cut — get ready for the literal fight of your life.

Once you’ve been infected, you might as well flip a coin or say “Candy Man” 5 times into the mirror, because it’s 50/50 whether you’ll live or die.

Unbelievably, only 8 people died from that outbreak in Lagos, thanks to rapid contract tracing and tough isolation enforcement. It could have been worse… so much worse.

Towards the end of “93 days” there was a scene where people in the city came together and mourned the dead. They also celebrated the swift and brave actions of the doctors and quarantine professionals.

As I was watching this scene, I felt oddly emotional. It wasn’t because the movie was amazing or going to win the actors Oscars, but rather because it raised a pretty painful question about our culture, and perhaps hinted at the loss of something important.

Here in the UK, close to 180,000 souls have lost their lives due to Coronavirus, many of them losing it whilst…

--

--

Andrew Scott Chapman

Senior Software Engineer, terrible but enthusiastic table tennis player.