Ebola

You never understand the seriousness of a situation
Until you feel the pain.
Until it hits you in the face so you can't run away.
This is for those who joke about it,
For those who never even bothered to research it.

In Liberia
When you know you have Ebola,
You lock yourself in your home
And wait for the angel of death.
There's no cure, no hope.
You just wait
With diarrhoea, as you vomit, cough, bleed.
Until you end up begging for death
Because maybe in death you'll find peace.
And even in death you're a danger
Because you can still transmit the disease.
You are not given a proper burial
There are no coffins or graves.
Just piles of bodies that are set on fire.
Ebola is funny now, isn't it?

The average citizen wears a uniform
That covers their body, mouth, hair and has gloves.
You can't hug your lover.
You can't kiss your daughter.
You can't greet a stranger.
Countries driven by fear.

The schools are closed,
Transformed into hospitals
That don't cure much.

The burial teams keep spraying themselves with chlorine
Imagine what that does to their health.
They've been shunned by their families
Who don't approve of their work,
Or is it for fear they'll catch it?

There's nothing funny about Ebola.
Don't make jokes about it.
But I was one of those comedians
I never researched
I never knew
Until I thought my family could get it

I imagined this cloud spreading.
Zuberi coughing and Shineni vomiting
I saw my father bleeding
Blood so red, like this ink with which I'm writing
My mother frantically searching,
For something that would help them but she catches it.
What would I do?
They wouldn't let me die with them!
Where would they go?
Schiphol wouldn't let them in!
I saw them leaking, dying
Their chest no longer heaving
And then blank, I never saw their bodies burning.

You never understand the seriousness of a situation
Until you feel the pain.
Until it hits you in the face so you can't run away.

by Mariam de Haan

Comments (0)

There is no comment submitted by members.