Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time's Person of the Year is Ours

Time Magazine has chosen its Person of the Year for 2014: The Ebola Fighters. One of the covers belongs to Ella Watson-Stryker, the Doctors Without Borders worker I referred to without naming in a previous post at Dreaming Up Daily. She's one of our own here in Humboldt--the daughter of HSU professor and long-time friend, Betsy Watson, and a person we've watched and been proud of for a long time.

 According to the magazine's description, Ella didn't even want to spend the ten minutes on having her picture taken, as it was distracting her from her work.

 Her mother, currently traveling, writes that Ella is good health, and very proud of the work they and the US military did in Liberia, where Ebola has been virtually eradicated. But after some time in Europe training other workers and some r&r over Christmas in the states, she's back in the fray in Sierra Leone, where things are dire indeed.

 I didn't mention her name before because of the stigma that was ignorantly attached to these heroes. And even now, Ella has to go out of her way in entering the US to avoid airports where she could be forced to spend her holidays in quarantine.  (She of course has been thoroughly checked as part of Doctors Without Borders procedure, and has been back from Africa for some time.)

 It's hard to have much faith in humanity after something like the wanton torture the US engaged in, as we are being reminded again. Then there's Ella, and Doctors Without Borders. And even Time Magazine, for doing this. A better world is possible.


Anonymous said...

So, you don't think she could be infected and not know, like the man who died in Texas after returning from Ebola treatment work in Africa?? I don't think she should avoid any screening at airports. Give us all a break, yes, she's courageous, and yes, she's a heroine, but seriously...

BK said...

So seriously, a moment's contemplation might suggest that of course she's been tested by Doctors Without Borders who have more experience than anyone in screening for Ebola. Plus she has been outside Africa longer than the quarantine period would be. Airport screenings have turned up zero cases, and studies show airport screenings are ineffective anyway:
Almost everyone except politicians agree that absent certain symptoms, quarantines are useless.

No one has yet contracted Ebola in the US and died. So if I were you I'd worry about the flu.