There are many types of ailments that human beings are subjected to but none is as scary as Ebola. The book titled Ebola by David Quammen was published in 2014. At about the same time, the disease threatened to morph into a global epidemic given that there is no known cure for the Ebola virus. A summary of the book and its ethical, societal, and future impacts are worth considering as a means to enlighten people about the horrific reality that is the Ebola virus.
David Quammen’s book, Ebola is 128 pages long. It begins by offering insights concerning how the virus was first discovered in 1976. With a mysterious yet professional tone, Quammen (2014) points out that experts in the scientific and medical fraternities do not have a concrete understanding of how the Ebola virus works to kills victims. The cause of death emanates from a number of reasons like breathing difficulties, kidney failure, diarrhea, and liver failure. All these symptoms converge to from an unstoppable cascade of events that a reader will inadvertently want to believe is more fiction than reality. This is not the case as Quammen (2014) details his excursions into African jungles with various specialists intent on understanding how the virus is transmitted to human beings, its effects on the body, and factors that results its slip back into dormancy. The book notes that the virus has unique mutation capacities to the effect that researchers are unable to keep pace with its development (Quammen, 2014). From the simple desire by an African community to savor bush meat to the travel back home by a tourist who handled an Ebola hosting bat, its ability to ravage through human population is mind boggling.
Upon a careful reading of the book, one appreciates that he has taken the ethical consideration as a well-versed journalist to place vital information on the Ebola in the hands of readers all across the world (Quammen, 2014). It is especially helpful for people whose lives were considerably impacted on after it ravaged through a number of countries in West Africa (Kakutani, 2014). The fact that the world is presently a globalized village spread fear amongst politicians in all countries. This is a clear indication that it is a book with considerable mass appeal since it allows reader to comprehend why the outbreak travelled so fast and was so difficult to contain.
The book gives a proper perspective of how societal challenges that people in far flung regions of the world affect communities in the developed world. Societies in Africa suffer sporadic periods of instability. The outcome is continued regression while other parts of the world are continuing on a growth trajectory. Quammen (2014) enables community members in their different capacities to appreciate that if there are problems in Africa, then there is a high probability that first world countries might suffer from that result. For instance, air travel has eased trade and movement of people across the world. These may be counter-intelligence agents or humanitarian workers serving war-ravaged communities in Africa. Any one of them can contract the disease and unknowingly carry it into another continent (Kakutani, 2014). The future implication of Quammen’s work is towards greater collaborations from regional leaders towards finding solution to emerging challenges. This implies that there should be a trend away from individualism to utilitarian collectivism.
In conclusion, a summary of the book and its ethical, societal, and future impacts on world populations makes it a worthwhile read. It is bound to appeal to scholars, journalists, students, and politicians given that the world is now a global village. No person should consider themselves safe from the virus and the best approach is ensure human beings do not require to hunt bats for food.
Kakutani, M. (2014). Ebola facts are scary enough. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/books/ebola-a-history-by-david-quammen.html
Quammen, D. (2014). Ebola: the natural and human history of a deadly virus. WW Norton & Company.