There’s chaos in Lebanon at the moment, with the Lebanese government officially joining the “War on Terror” alongside two dozen other countries, the Lebanese public in darkness because of electricity disputes, the presidential seat being vacant, the upcoming postponed elections being pretty much dead and of course, the threat of Islamist extremist attacks and invasions is still very much a possibility. So, it’s understandable that not enough is being done to take precautions against Ebola spreading here.
Now, many of you might say, “it’s all the way in West Africa, shu baddo ywassella?!”. Well, I’m pretty sure you all know someone, or know of someone who works in West Africa, like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. That’s where the danger lies: if any of the Lebanese diaspora gets infected and decides to come home.
Steps have been taken though. No flights from Lebanon’s national carrier go to and from the area anymore, but as this Al Jazeera English article shows, when Lebanese expats in West Africa do return, they’re not asked or tested for anything. France did so, and they were just there for a layover, to sorta show you how seriously they’re taking it compared to our government.
I know we have too much on our plate to worry about Ebola, but a little can go a long way. Stricter borders, quarantine precautions and medical facility preparedness can go a long way. In recent years, we’ve faced several virus strain threats, like the MERS virus from Saudi Arabia, and the Polio virus brought in by fighters from Pakistan to Syria, then to us. We came out on top so far, let’s hope we do when it comes to Ebola as well.
As for prevention, most of it involves staying away from infected people, their remains, or their bodily fluids. One sure thing though, as with every other infectious disease, is wash your hands… Always wash your hands, especially if you’ve been traveling.