A general letter to my readers about the Ebola virus and Ebola K
I spent a good deal of time wrestling with whether to publish Ebola K. The upside and downside arguments are obvious. The timing is good in that there is a great deal of interest in the topic of Ebola...and terrorism, for that matter. The timing is bad in that people are currently suffering from the worst outbreak in history.
And though Ebola has been sensationalized over the news, the number of people afflicted is minuscule when compared to other diseases such as malaria which killed over 600,000 people in Africa last year. Not to mention the death toll and human burden of HIV or malnutrition—both significant issues that have plagued the area for many, many years.
So as I went through the process of making my decision on whether to publish, I realized my choice to let the book sit on my hard drive for a year was a bit of a coward's choice. After all, the internet is full of people who love to find fault in others. Why give them ammunition?
However, as I discussed in the book's preface, my son spent last summer teaching kids in a little town in Uganda. It was a richly eye-opening experience for both he and the rest of our family. Along with that, I did a great deal of research for this book that increased my understanding of not only Ebola, but of the way it and other diseases affect people in countries less affluent than our own. In many ways, it is heartbreaking to acquire such an intimate knowledge of the suffering of others.
It was that knowledge that made me choose to take the brave path, to publish. Because publishing provided me a platform on which to talk about these diseases and the suffering outside of our safe little cocoon. And with thoughts of these diseases in mind, it also provided a way for me provide financial assistance to organizations and people who are in the trenches helping those suffering. But even better, it provided a way to possibly magnify my efforts, by pointing down a path through which readers of my books could assist as well.
I appreciate the fact that you have visited this page, and hopefully we can all make a difference.
General Ebola Information
Wall Street Journal Article on Ebola: "Deadly Disappointment Awaits at Ebola Clinics Due to Lack of Space"
Doctors Without Borders
A French-founded (now international and federal) humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases.
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
Text GIVE 17793 to 80088 to donate $10 to GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund. Message and data rates may apply. Only works for US mobile phones.
United Nations Program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Their donation link redirects to GlobalGiving (to the left).