Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2014 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, October 27, 2014
• From Page A29
In that case we would have plenty
to worry about, besides Carnival. Rou-
tine travel would be a consideration.
So would Christmas visits. Indeed,
worldwide tourism would nosedive.
Financial markets would plunge.
Beyond even that, there s the science
fiction scenario, where world trade
grinds to a halt, and we stampede to
Massy Stores for their remaining canned
That is massively unlikely. Though
of course we can jog the "collapse of
trade" bit along somewhat, if the
OWTU continues to play stupid with
Nobody else is cancelling anything
The Hajj has just finished. With more
than three million pilgrims, it dwarfs
T&T s Carnival.
Guinea is 85 per cent Muslim, Sierra
Leone 71 per cent, and Liberia 12 per
cent. People from Ebola-affected coun-
tries are far more likely to travel to
Mecca than to Port-of-Spain.
If the Hajj did lead to a rash of Ebola
oubreaks across the Muslim world, that
news is yet to break in world media.
Brazil hasn t cancelled its Carnival.
England hasn t called off the Premier
League season. Manchester s Old Traf-
ford stadium hosts crowds of 75,000
or more. Australian and New Zealand
are pressing ahead with next year s
Cricket World Cup. In Sydney, last
Wednesday s headline in the Daily Tele-
graph read: "West Indies banned?
Aussie selection headaches, Scotland
wins." Nothing about Ebola there.
London Underground and the New
York subway have not pulled their
morning rush-hour services.
But won't it take just one passen-
ger to infect a whole aircraft?
Not really. Passengers who are not
showing symptoms do not spread the
virus. So a single asymptomatic pas-
senger remains just that---one passenger.
Ebola does not feel like just a bad
case of flu. A passenger who is showing
symptoms would probably not be feel-
ing well enough to travel to the airport
If one did---or if symptoms developed
during a long flight---then those in direct
contact with the passenger or body
fluids would be at risk.
With no mass Ebola outbreak in
America or Europe, that s a somewhat
unlikely scenario. But if it unfolded, a
good dose of bleach could be used in-
flight to decontaminate infected sur-
faces. And a few surgical gloves on
board would be of some help, too.
Just breathing the air on the plane
would not pose a danger. "Ebola is not
an airborne infection," says Christine
Carrington, UWI Professor of Molecular
Genetics and Virology.
Or one reveller to infect the whole
Same applies. Anyone at the infec-
tious stage probably won t feel like par-
That s the point. People travel for
many reasons, and at all times of year.
Says David Lopez, President of the
National Carnival Bands Association:
"Why make Carnival a whipping
And there's a demand side too
If we get people panicked enough,
they won t want to play. That would
mean a limping Carnival, not a can-
Meanwhile, there's hope
Vaccine trials in Africa are now
planned for December. That s December
this year, with a few hundred thousand
doses ready by mid-2015. It is "not the
magic bullet," says Dr Marie Paule Kieny
of the WHO, but "a good part of the
effort to turn the tide."
The examples of Ebola hysteria in
the US are growing too numerous to
Two students from Rwanda, 2,600
miles from West Africa, are sent
home from a New Jersey elementary
school for 21 days. A Maine high
school teacher is given three weeks
off because she attended a
convention in Dallas, Texas.
A Texas college sends out letters
to prospective students from
disease-free Nigeria that informing
them that they are no longer
accepting applications from countries
with "confirmed Ebola cases".
Some writers think they've found a
theme that energises these fears,
tying many of these incidents
"In both the United States and
Europe, Ebola is increasing racial
profiling and reviving imagery of the
'Dark Continent'," writes Robin
Wright, a fellow at the Woodrow
Wilson International Center, for CNN.
"The disease is persistently
portrayed as West African, or African,
or from countries in a part of the
world that is racially black, even
though nothing medically
differentiates the vulnerability of any
race to Ebola."
And as the disease is associated
with blacks, she says, it contributes
to and feeds off already existing
racism in Western society.
The Verge's Arielle Duhaime-Ross
takes note of reports that residents
of the immigrant-populated Dallas
neighbourhood where Thomas Eric
Duncan first displayed Ebola
symptoms are experiencing
Given the science of Ebola, the
prospect of three cases turning into
300 or 3,000 in the US are miniscule.
But the threat Ebola has exposed---
what David Brooks of the New York
Times, calls the "weakness in the
fabric of our culture"---has been laid
Ebola vaccine trials
planned for December
EBOLA, RACE AND FEAR
From left, Raheem Soumahoro, 16, Mark Portelli, 18, and Paulina Chernomaz, 17, wear masks at a subway
station in Washington Square on Thursday. New York was a city on edge Thursday night after it was revealed
a doctor who has Ebola rode the subway, walked on The High Line, went to a bowling alley and even took an
Uber cab. PHOTO: NYDAILYNEWS.COM
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