Life in the Times: Ebola Crisis
Fear of the kind that is gripping Liberia is incredibly difficult to fathom. “It’s like sitting in a small room with the walls slowly caving in,” says 43-year-old Seaiwon-Aaron Dickson, who limits his contact with the outside world to his office in downtown Monrovia before returning to his apartment in the densely populated suburb of Old Road, where his six children have been holed up since the Ebola crisis began to escalate in July.
“I relax a little at night, but then as soon as the chickens begin to crow in the morning and the new day breaks, the fear returns. Because you don’t know if you wake up with a temperature, and maybe that’s the beginning of the virus. Or if this will be the day when you come into contact with someone who has it and they pass it on to you. Or if the children will get it.”
His wife, Flinhway, is a medical doctor at the well-known government-run Redemption hospital, where she treats victims of the killer disease each day of the week from about 8.30am through to 10pm or so.
“And when she comes home, I don’t touch her. We don’t kiss. We no longer sleep together. She doesn’t hug the children,” the youngest of which is two, so fearful are they both that the virus might have seeped into her skin throughout the day, unbeknown to either of them.