Via allAfrica.com, a blog post by its Monrovia bureau chief Boakai Fofana: Liberia: What You're Not Hearing About Ebola - Campaign to 'Kick It Out'. Excerpt:
Monrovia's streets were buzzing. In my amazement that an air of normalcy seems to prevail despite the emergency measures, I paid little heed to buckets of chlorinated water at the entrance of a local bank.
"Sir, sir, please.." the security guard called out to me, gesturing to the transparent plastic containers on a wooden chair. It was a familiar site; virtually every point of convergence now has one. Regular hand washing has become the norm, and security guards must ensure there's no exception.
A couple of weeks back it was easy to stumble upon small groups questioning whether or not Ebola actually existed. In the last few days, however, the discourse has changed. You won't be out long before hearing neighbors explain what's being done in their households to avoid the dreaded virus. Usually it's either enforcing hand washing, or people carrying around small bottles of chlorine and bleach in their pockets as they take on their daily chores.
But it has taken the death of more than a 100 persons and possibly over 300 infections for this to happen.
Although seven of Liberia's 15 counties have had confirmed or probable Ebola cases, the country's four million population still has the least number of recorded deaths of the worst affected nations. Liberians are looking to capitalize on this in a new zest to "Kick Ebola Out", a trend that has emerged on social media pages. The "NO New Infections" hashtag is also becoming popular.
Vocal politicians who have made use of the country's fledgling democracy to attack the government's approach to fighting the disease in the past, and the vibrant but critical press, have all expressed strong support for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's latest measures to curb the disease.
In an unprecedented move, she announced border closures, the restriction of public gatherings, a new travel policy for outgoing and incoming passengers, the provision of five million U.S dollars from an already strained budget, and the deployment of the newly-formed army.
"Anybody caught stoning health workers will be drastically dealt with by the army", Defense Minister Brownie Samukai sternly warned on the morning following the president's pronouncement. He was referring to reports of attacks on aid workers and nurses in rural districts by locals who were suspicious of foreigners wearing hazmat-like suits.
Security forces have now been posted to many health centers, although their presence might not be in as much demand as it was a few weeks back, with Liberians heeding calls to stay away from people showing signs of the disease and to call the "Ebola hot lines". The government also announced it is considering cremating the bodies of victims to avoid contaminating water supplies.
There are fears that the unrelenting rainy season might just be providing the right opportunity for the virus to thrive.So my neighbors were jubilant when a semblance of sunshine appeared at the weekend. "The heat will kill the Ebola," they quipped; but their view was in sync with the Centers for Disease Control "Ebola update" published by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. It states that the "virus is killed by contact with soap, bleach, sunlight, or drying". Many Liberians now regularly scan the embassy's website for new modes of preventing the disease.