17 October 2014

Contrast

Maybe it's just me but this year it feels as if the world has become a more agitated and more desperate place. Perhaps I should blank out the news - live in a bubble of ignorance just as our ancestors would have done in the days before mass communication swamped us with information from faraway places and brought the world with all of its troubles into our living rooms.

Recently two particular groups of people have been leaving the British Isles for very contrasting reasons. On the hand you have a bunch of disenchanted young Muslims who have wormed their way into Asia Minor in order to pursue some kind of harebrained religious crusade, banding together under the black banner of the Islamic State, intoxicated by adventure and by a warped and ignorant re-interpretation of Islam. Ironically, they embrace cruelty and killing in the name of Allah.

And on the other hand you have volunteer health workers - prepared to leave our shores in order to do battle with ebola in West Africa. These brave people are prepared to risk their own lives in order help others as they struggle in challenging circumstances to turn back ebola's cruel tide of death. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes or in their protective suits and currently the very last countries on my travel plan bucket list would be Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal. In my book these people are quite simply heroes.

The first group go to kill and the second group go to save life. The contrast is stark.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. i like the new profile picture Carol! My - how you've changed!

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  2. It certainly is !

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  3. No. It is much the same. Malaria still kills lots more folk than Ebola. As far as I can understand it Ebola is just a new name for dysentery. It will kill without access to salts and water which the poor devils in western Africa don't have. They have water but I bet even they don't drink the Congo river.
    I am not that bothered by ISIL. I wasn't over worried by the IRA. I used to have to go to Ireland and was just very polite. I was less accommodating in Boston USA. Those second generation paddy immigrants delayed the peace process and financed criminals for twenty years. I got a good kicking in Boston.
    Nothing changes but the perceived threat or the known enemy.
    There really can't be enough news to fill twenty four hours a day so news has become like the test card. It's just a series of images and instead of music we get heads talking.
    Don't Panic.

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    1. Malaria isn't infectious like ebola but otherwise I very much appreciate your reflections Adrian.

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  4. Whatever the realities of Ebola in the ranks of killer diseases there is one thing which is not in dispute and that is the lack of a cure, the contagion factor, the high mortality rate and the fear factor. Those going out to fight it are certainly heroes in my book.

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  5. Only just yesterday, I read an article about Ebola that described how the UK are preparing for it (for instance, by doing test-runs to the nearest specialised hospital with dummy patients) and how Germany does... NOTHING. Months after the first news about the Ebola outbreak were on telly, the German union of GPs put some information on their website, to help GPs to recognize the symptoms in a patient and act accordingly. Too little, too late. And the German minister of health keeps saying there is no reason to do any more, because we are so "well prepared". I'm not one to artificially fan public panic, but being so arrogantly careless certainly is not helpful, either.
    You are right, those who go there to help are true heroes.

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    1. I could write a book on the incompetence of Spanish authorities regarding the situation too, but probably won't.

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    2. LIBRARIAN - Sorry to hear you are not ebola-ready. In a year or two - with hindsight - it may well be that we look back and realise that there was a lot of media hype and panic surrounding ebola and it wasn't as worrisome as we had been ;led to believe. I am not sure.
      BRIAN What about the Catalan authorities? You are always picking on the poor Spanish!

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    3. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it - so far the only case has been in Madrid, and as the Health Minister said when questioned by journalists, "I only get to know what's happening by reading the press."

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  6. No...it's not just you, Yorky. Humans are a sorry race...it's a pity they can't be all be winners - if you know what I mean.

    Hate is such a wasted emotion; wasted energy; and far too many people waste both.

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