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Ebola Robs Liberians of Affection and Physical Comfort

Benno Muchler | Voice of America   in 
October 17, 2014

Almost seven months into the worst Ebola outbreak ever, Liberia is in the tight grip of the disease. One of the least talked about aspects of the Ebola crisis is that is has taken away physical interaction between people. During a tragic time, affection and physical comfort are off limits.

With an 11 pm curfew, Monrovia’s nightclubs and entertainment centers open much earlier these days. That is why you can hear loud music at Exodus bar at 6 pm on a Saturday night. Inside, people sit quietly around tables. Nobody is dancing.

One partygoer said he wore long sleeves because he’s afraid of getting Ebola. The deejay regularly reminds people of the risks through his microphone: “Well, Ebola is real. It’s here in Liberia.”

Even though it’s not much fun going to nightclubs anymore, Monrovians keep coming. Viviane Gambah sits outside next to the club on a terrace and has beers with her girlfriends.

“Today I just left my house because sometimes when we sit and think on this Ebola issue, we feel bad. And sometime we really don’t know what to do. I just decided to come out and drink two or three bottles and go and sleep.  But really, I don’t dance,” said Gambah.

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