This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Two Different Approaches to Dealing With Ebola

The Ebola talk refuses to die down, with the news that an American physician, who had been working with Ebola patients in Guinea, came back to New York, rode the subway and went bowling, and then became ill. He and his fiancé are now in quarantine at Bellevue Hospital Center. A news anchor at NY1 in New York had some pithy advice to offer viewers after learning that the physician had been on the subway:
Ebola has officially come to our city, but that doesn't mean that New Yorkers — internationally hailed for being jaded assholes — will irrationally panic. But just to be safe, NY1 anchor Errol Louis has some salient advice for anyone hoping to avoid contracting Ebola from subway poles or bowling balls (which, by the way, is extremely unlikely).
Louis's advice basically boils down to: Do not eat feces. Really, if you think about it, it's great advice for any situation in your life. Should you buy that expensive outfit? Don't eat poop! Should you quit your job? Don't eat poop! Want to break up with your significant other? Seriously, don't eat poop.
Closer to the scene of the "action," questions have arisen about the way in which Cote d'Ivoire, which neighbors both Liberia and Guinea, is dealing with Ebola. For starters, back in August the country closed its borders to Liberia and Guinea, in order to reduce the likelihood of infected persons entering the country. For additional inside information, I today asked one of our PhD students, who is from Cote d'Ivoire, what he knew about the situation. He offered the story about a village in which several people known to be from Liberia were rounded up and deported, and he did not think that was the only case. So again, we have evidence that West African countries are trying to figure out how best to deal with the situation, especially since there is still little overt evidence of direct assistance from the rest of the world.

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