Chances Are You Won’t Get Ebola – But Chances Are, If You Do, It Will Take Away Everyone You Love

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October 24, 2014

Isaac is a man who has lost literally everything. Ebola killed his family and stole his friends, who shunned him when he came back from the hospital. Neighbors wouldn’t let him use the water pump, so he had no water. Food is scarce, and best found by sharing, and Isaac had no one left to share with him.

And even though it had already taken everything else, Ebola went after his home. It took his clothes and his shoes and his bed and his soccer posters, his forks and his knives and his spoons.

Isaac is an Ebola survivor, a statistical rarity in West Africa, where the relentless virus has killed nearly 5,000 people so far, according to the World Health Organization. The few who live may offer hope to those fighting for their lives in treatment wards and purpose to those struggling to care for them.

But Isaac is not a symbol. He is a man with nothing left, and his story is a reminder that at every turn, Ebola resists the heroic narrative arc.

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