In West Africa, disbelief and distrust in medical science is a problem:
"Some in the crowd were silent, baffled by the white building and the moonsuits worn by the health workers. In that part of the world, not everybody believed in the infectious theory of disease, the idea that illnesses can spread through microbes. Why wouldn’t the doctors let people see or touch their loved ones at a funeral? Many people distrusted the government, and spiritual explanations for the disease circulated."
In the United States, by contrast, we know and understand that Ebola can be spread by genetics:
"Her daughter was in school and sneezed a couple of times. They took her temperature and placed her alone in a room, called my sister and said, given the situation...” Solomon’s sister was asked to temporarily remove her daughter from school: a girl who has never been to Liberia, and has not had contact with anyone returning from Liberia for two years."
Cover your mouth, Liberians, so as not to spread the disease:
“If I’m on the Metro, I don’t talk,” he said. “If I’m on the bus, I don’t talk. If people hear the accent, they think you are Liberian, then you have Ebola, which is not the case. Not all Liberians have Ebola.”
Alphonso Toweh was riding a bus when a man sitting next to him politely asked where he was from. “Liberia,” said Toweh, a writer from Monrovia who is visiting the Washington area, home to the nation’s second-largest population of African immigrants. “At that point, the man went far from me,” he said. “He did not want to come close to me. People, once they know you are Liberian — people assume you have the virus in your body, which is not the case.”
Rwanda is one of the hardest hit areas of Liberia:
“I don’t feel comfortable sending my daughter to school with people who could be infected with Ebola.”
“Really concerns me. I don’t want to keep my boy out of school.”
“Tell us when we come into the door. Don’t smile in my face and have a secret like that.”
“Anybody from that area should just stay there until all this stuff is resolved. There’s nobody affected here; let’s just keep it that way.”
“I think for another couple weeks. I don’t think it would hurt, I mean you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt.”