All Sierra Leone’s six-million population have been confined to their homes. The three-day shutdown is a desperate bid to fight the outbreak, as US health officials warn the disease could spread to over half a million people.
“Today the life of every one is at stake, but we will get over this difficulty if all do what we have been asked to do,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said in a national address on Thursday, a day before the shutdown was due to come into force.
People were in a hurry ahead of the edict to buy food. Shopkeepers were distraught at the prospect of losing three days’ worth of income, given that much of the country’s population, including the capital Freetown, live on as little as $2 a day or less. Each day is a struggle.
“If we do not sell here we cannot eat,” one vegetable vendor told the AP. “We do not know how we will survive during the three-day shutdown.”
The shutdown has left only essential security and medical personnel, as well as volunteers, patrolling the streets, making door-to-door visits to search for disease-stricken civilians who may be hiding.
I really don’t think many people realize the seriousness of this situation.
This epidemic has the potential to be the worst in the history of mankind as it continues to spread and claim thousands of lives at an alarming rate.
In the event that it somehow crosses the pond (ocean) and begins to infect people in America, it could easily lead to the quarantine of entire cities as the government tries to contain the outbreak. This, in turn, could lead to martial law being implemented as mass panic breaks out.
-Matt Duncan aka MD