Monday, October 27, 2014

Ignorance a disease too?

Last decade when SARS hit Asia before giving birth to sporadic anxiety across the globe, a new trend took place. People were wearing white mask across their face a la Michael Jackson. When the H1N1 dust finally settled down, it became clearer why exactly were the factors causing the disease—let alone a standard cure—not put in order? Turned out big pharma companies had their own sweet interests to take care of. They didn’t give a pill about who died a gruesome death or who survived to watch Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011). Conclusion: Money, not charity, drives these companies. There’s a reason why world’s top-10 pharma companies in the Fortune 500 list are worth more than the rest of the 490 companies put together. In such a sordid scenario, how precisely are we dependent on them to help us fight a monster like Ebola? To put it bluntly, how many more deaths should we presage before a concrete action—aided by scientific temper, not commercial climb—is taken by the world community? If only the powers-to-be declared war on this deadly disease the way they blindly did on terrorism! As of today, 10,000 cases have been registered with half of them already dead and gone. Is this situation a reminder of how disconcertedly weak we actually are in the face of a natural disaster? When AIDS introduced itself, the panic by the usual suspects as well as the indifference by the government complemented each other. But it led to a breakthrough because the sufferers weren’t going to fade away silently, thus enabling the rest a chance at leading a respectable life. What’s happening with Ebola is remarkably different because we don’t see the usual suspects—if at all there is a criterion for infection—or sufferers raising slogan against the apathy displayed towards tackling the problem. What really is going on? I mean, other than a drop in the global production of chocolate?

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