Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Haley Reading Group: “They Helped Erase Ebola in Liberia. Now Liberia is Erasing Them”
[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2016)]
Cynthia A. Campbell
Helene Cooper’s article “They Helped Erase Ebola in Liberia. Now Liberia is Erasing Them” focuses on the fate of young men charged with cremating the bodies of the Ebola dead. Cooper illuminates the disruption of the young men’s lives. Ultimately, the article speaks to the ostracism faced by those tasked to dispose of the most infectious carriers of Ebola.
Cooper’s discussion of the backlash faced by the men in charge of disposing and burning of the diseased bodies was especially enlightening. At one point, Cooper notes that “families shunned them as they pursued their grim work” (21). This point indicates the inflexibility of the mores/beliefs held by Liberians regarding cremation.
After reading Cooper’s article, what was one point concerning the plight of the burners that most moved you? Why was that point or passage moving to you? Please provide a page number citation.