Ebola-induced OCD?

Broadcasts about the Ebola Virus hitting Lagos have been flying around in the past 24 hours or more. I have received tons of “Beware of Ebola Virus” broadcasts on bbm and whatsapp and I do appreciate the efforts of those trying to pass useful information around so that people can know what to do.

They say the Ebola disease has no cure and can only be prevented, that is, the best option is not to be infected in the first place. Most of the broadcasts I received gave information about symptoms and preventive measures and as I read through yet another broadcast this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder at all the things we may have to do to prevent ourselves from contracting this deadly disease. I decided to tease out the preventive measures outlined in the broadcast and share some of my thoughts. Here we go:

1. Have a personal hand sanitizer and use it as frequent as possible, like every 30 minutes.
My thots: What if I am in a meeting that is scheduled to last for 2/3 hours? How many times will I excuse myself to wash my hands?

2. Do not buy and eat any fruit without washing it.
My thots: Perfect! That’s how it should be….but wait, how about Banana? I have never seen it washed before consumption ooo. Do we have to start washing or we just stay away from Banana?

3. Stay away from eating any meat that you do not know it’s source, especially our lovely ‘Suya’.
My thots: I concur with the suya part, but does anyone honestly know the ‘source’ of the meat they purchase from the local market or super stores? In short, in order to be doubly sure, let’s just stay away from meat, init?

4. Avoid putting your hands into your mouth or biting your finger.
My thots: I also concur with the finger biting bit but how do we eat our iyan/poundo yam, eba, semo, amala, fufu, ebiripo, akpu, etc without putting our hands in our mouth? We resort to cutlery, eh?

5. Try as much as possible to avoid unnecessary handshakes for now or immediately after, use your sanitizer.
My thots: What is the operational definition of ‘unnecessary handshake’ ooo? How do I know who to shake and who not to shake? What’s the criterion/criteria? In short, don’t shake anybody and if you must, put on gloves – cos if you shake someone in a place where you can’t readily use a sanitizer, what happens then?

6. Ebola can be spread through contact with body sweat or saliva, so take caution when you board any Mass Transit/Public Transport.
My thots: How do I even know what the passenger next to me is carrying in his/her body? What caution should I take? Wrap up myself to avoid direct body contact with the person sitting next to me? Pay for double space to create enough (breathing) space for myself? Perhaps I shouldn’t use public transport for now – activate bicycle/trekking mode….hehe.

7. Generally avoid having contacts with body fluid.
My thots: Fair enough.
*Make sure you don’t allow anyone cry on your shoulders – always have a ready tissue paper.
*Stay away from people who talk and spit at the same time.
*Be extra careful when using the loo. Flush and wipe the toilet seat before use.
*Avoid people who expectorate (cough or spit out phlegm from the throat or lungs) indiscriminately.
*Well, well, those who go kissing anyone and everyone should beware…hahaha.
*Of course, take every other precaution you take against HIV.

8. Consider bathing as often as you can.
My thots: Like how many times a day? Three, four, five, or more? We need to know.

As much as I do not make light of these precautions – I actively believe that prevention is better than cure – I can’t help but wonder if, very soon, we all won’t develop OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) from these preventive measures…lol. Also, since the early symptoms of Ebola virus infection appear not so different from some everyday symptoms people present with, I wonder if more cases of hypochondria will not erupt. It appears that apart from doctors and nurses, clinical/medical psychologists are about to have more work on their hands – no be so?

Well, these are just random thoughts, which do not in any way undermine the fact that we have to take as much precaution as we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from all forms of infection. However, while doing that, let us also consider, believe, and hold tight the word of God in Psalm 91: 3-6,10-11(NKJV) that says, “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noon day. No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.” Amen.


AyotundeElegbeleye 2014©
Jesus is LORD!

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