The first case of the Ebola Virus was reported in the year of 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over the years, different species of Ebola have been discovered, and exist to this day. They are known as:
  • Ebola-Zaire (1976)
  • Ebola-Sudan (1976)
  • Ebola-Ivory Coast (1994)
  • Bundibugyo Ebolavirus (2007).


The beginning symptoms of the Ebola virus causes one to have "a high fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, tiredness, and diarrhea" (Hoyle 1) After the first few days, the disease progresses and it produces copious internal bleeding, shock, and death.

The Ebola Virus was first discovered in the United States on September 30, 2014. A man who had traveled to the United States from Liberia was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. He didn't have any symptoms when leaving Liberia, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the United States.

When word spread that the Ebola Virus had been exposed to the American population, "it didn't take long for hundreds and thousands of false cases to be reported" (Gregoire). Although many people were afraid of being infected by the Ebola Virus from, it is important to remember that "Ebola is extremely infectious but not extremely contagious" (Ebola Fast Facts). This means that Ebola can only be transmitted through direct contact.


After news about the first case of Ebola spread across the nation, many citizens began to worry. On the week of the 13th of October, a few schools in Belton, Texas closed. These schools closed after "a family of four, including two students from the [school] district, traveled on the same flight as a nurse who [had] been diagnosed with Ebola" (Sanz 1). Although no direct contact was made between the nurse diagnosed with Ebola and the students at the schools, the school district took extreme measures to disinfect the school and the school buses. The students then returned to school the following week. No new cases were found amongst the students attending the schools that had been closed.

The closing of the schools in Texas shows that in times of fear, people aren't fully knowledgeable of what should be done. In the spite of fear of Ebola spreading to the students, the school district took extreme precaution and made sure that everything was disinfected. They took this precaution although there wasn't any evidence to fully prove that the schools were infected and that the Ebola virus was a threat to the children. Also, the school districts "[have] asked the famil[ies] to stay in their home" (Sanz 1). The fact that the school districts are asking families to stay at home shows that any association with the "infected schools" is seen as a risk to the people. The school districts disapprove of the children having any association with the possibly Ebola infected schools.


Arthur Miller's The Crucible centers the play in the small village of Salem in the year of 1692. In the opening scene, Reverend Parris speaks to his niece, Abigail Williams, about the his daughter's, Betty Parris, unconsciousness. Miller gives us an insight of what is currently happening in the village through the words of the characters. Abigail says, "Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all about; I think you'd best go down and deny it yourself. The parlor's packed with people, sir..."(Miller 9). The people who Abigail refers to are the people of the village who have come to Reverend Parris for answers about the witchcraft hysteria. These people aren't fully knowledgeable about witchcraft which is why they trust and look up to Reverend Parris and his answers. This shows that since the people of Salem don't know much about witchcraft and are probably fearful and confused. At times like these, they trust what Reverend Parris says about witchcraft even though his words aren't fully supported by hard evidence.

As the play continues, Mary Warren is introduced as John and Elizabeth Proctor's servant. As the girls speak to one another, Mary Warren says to Abigail, "Abby, we've got to tell. Witchery's a hangin' error, a hangin' like they done in Boston two year ago! We must tell the truth, Abby! You'll only be whipped for dancin', and the other things!" (Miller 18). Abigail then replies to Mary warren and says, "Oh,-we'll be whipped!" (Miller 19). The conversation that takes place between Abigail and Mary Warren shows us that witchery was seen as dreadful crime in the village of Salem. Mary mentions that they will be whipped for dancing which portrays the idea that any type of association with witchcraft is prohibited and frowned upon. In any case that one associates with witchcraft, the person will be severely punished or "whipped".

The Crucible and School Closings

In both, The Crucible and the school closings in Texas due to the Ebola virus, the people believed what they heard instead of the true facts. In The Crucible, the people of Salem received their information about witchcraft from one another even if it wasn't fully supported. In the school closings due to Ebola, the school district took extreme precautions to prevent Ebola from spreading even though they had never been directly exposed. Also in The Crucible, the girls weren't allowed to have any association with witchery because that was frowned upon in the village. The school districts also disapproved of sending the children to school because risking their exposure to Ebola was seen as a big mistake.


"Ebola Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 05 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.

Greegoire, Carolyn. "Why We're All So Freaked Out About Ebola." Huffington Post. N.p., 17 Oct. 2014. Web.

Hoyle,Brian."Ebola virus." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 5th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. Student Resources in Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible (Penguin Classics). New York: Penguin Classics, 2003. Print.

Sanz, Aelx. "3 Texas Schools Close Due to Ebola Concerns." Washington Times. The Washington Times, 16 Oct. 2014. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.