Ebola: Nation wide Hysteria

Blown out of proportion


In 1976 Ebola, named after Ebola River in Zaire first emerged in Sudan and Zaire. The first outbreak infected over 284 people, with a mortality rate of 53%. A few months later a second Ebola virus emerged from Yambuku, Zaire (EBOZ) with a mortality rate of 88%. Third starin of Ebola, Ebola Reston (EBOR), was first identified in 1989. The last strain know as Ebola Cote d'Ivoire (EBO-CI) was discovered in 1994 when a female ethologist was performing a necropsy on a dead chimpanzee from the Tai Forest.

Patient Zero in the U.S

On September 30, 2014 CDC confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States on a man who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. Thomas Eric Duncan did not have symptoms when leaving Liberia, but developed them 4 days after getting back to America. He sought medical attention at Texas Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms and was tested for Ebola. He passed away on October 8 after being isolated. (" Case of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States") Nina Pham one of the nurses taking care of Mr. Duncan became the first person to contract Ebola in the United States. Joy Vinson a second nurse was the second to contract the disease. She went on a plane and traveled to Cleveland and returned with a 99 degrees fever. (Voorhees, "Everything That Went Wrong in Dallas")

The Hysteria

The fear that people had over Ebola had caused many to over react. There are reports of kids being pulled out of schools and even some school closings. People in many areas weren't going to work and others are driving cars rather than taking public transportation because of the fear of catching Ebola. Politicians wanted to ban travel for people from Liberia and other countries where the epidemic is concentrated. ( Baker,"Ebola Hysteria Fever: A Real Epidemic") The Hysteria was inflated by government reactions to this so-called epidemic in America. "A Texas community college wouldn't admit international applicants of their country origin has confirmed Ebola cases" (Catalan, "Ebola-Related Discrimination on Texas College Campus"). The Texas community college was oppressing anyone that might have Ebola and choose to refuse admission into their school because of it.

The Crucible

In The Crucible, one of the main themes surrounding the story was how hysteria controlled people's actions. In the beginning of the play Abigail suddenly barged into Hale and Tituba's conversation so she could confess her sins. "I want to open myself! . . . I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (1048) Abigail increased the hysteria in Salem by admitting there were witches in Salem and convicting others of being a witch. This was the start of the Salem witch trial's frenzy.

During a court trial, Rebecca Nurse is convicted for being a witch and was sentenced to death. Hale started, " Believe me, Mr. Nurse, if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing's left to stop the whole green world from burning. Let you rest upon the justice of the court; the court will send her home, I know it." (1065) This shows how the hysteria in Salem has increased so much that even good people are being sent to their deaths.

During the conversation between Danforth and Hale, Danforth stated that the court was using spectral evidence. " But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by nature, an invisible crime is it not? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims- and they do testify, the children certainly do testify." (1083) This shows how the hysteria in Salem has reached the courts of Salem, causing the judges to convict people based on spectral evidence instead of actual proof.

Parallel between Ebola epidemic and The Crucible

The witch trials in The Crucible and the Ebola epidemic were both inflamed by the fear of the people and support of the government. In the witch trials, the judges were one of the main causes for the continuation of the trials by refusing to stop convicting others because they already sentenced people to their deaths. The fear of getting killed in the trials caused many of the "witches" to convict others for their personal safety. While during the Ebola hysteria politicians helped make Ebola a much bigger topic than it needed to be by trying to stop transportation between countries that have Ebola, making people believe that it was much more infectious than it really was. The people feared that they'd catch this disease and die.

Work Cited

Baker, Dean. "Ebola Hysteria Fever: A Real Epidemic." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

"Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Nov. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Catalan, Julissa. "Ebola-Related Discrimination on Texas College Campus."DiversityInc. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

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

Waterman, Tara. "Brief General History of Ebola." Brief Ebola General History. N.p., 1999. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Voorhees, Josh. "A Detailed Timeline of the Many, Many Medical Missteps in the First U.S. Ebola Case." Slate Magazine. N.p., 16 Oct. 2014. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.