Ebola Letter

By: Guy and Tayler


Dear Family,

How have you been? I've had a hard couple weeks in the cemetery. The days are long and I'm poorly paid, with heavy risk of getting the disease but I do it all out of patriotism! I want to help my country and it's people by fighting Ebola. My team specifically covers the capital Freetown, we have been burying between 17 and 35 bodies each day. Other teams have around 12 members who dig around 15-20 graves a day and earn about $100 each per week, but that pay isn't always guaranteed.

Other workers have thoughts about going on strike, demanding their weekly pay. The strike has sparked fears that the outbreak could worsen our country. Without the grave workers, infected bodies will be left in the street, increasing the risk of the virus spreading. The Ebola virus is extremely contagious and remains active in the corpses of victims, as it is transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Because of this, only our "specialized" teams are allowed to dispose of the bodies. The World Health Organization recently voiced concern over the increasing number of grave diggers deaths in the outbreak. Across West Africa, over 120 diggers have died and many more have been infected. I think this is very serious, it's really discouraging to many of the diggers. And without adequate protective gear, many more of us will die. Ebola has infected at least 13,000 people in West Africa, and killed at least 5,000. If the deadly virus isn't stopped, the CDC estimates that up to 1.4 million people could be infected by the end of May 2015.