The paper must include an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should include: a statement of the question, your main argument, why you are using an interdisciplinary approach and at least three disciplinary perspectives and explain why they would be relevant to examining their chosen issue, sources of disciplinary conflicts, and how an interdisciplinary approach helps to understand the chosen problem.
Papers must contain a minimum of 10 sources, 5 of which MUST be academic publications (books, book chapters, or peer-reviewed journal articles). These sources must contain 5 academic sources (from at least 3 different disciplines); 3 credible news sources; and 2 policy sources (US government, the UN, or a think tank).
EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
Question: What were the effects of the Ebola virus epidemic for individuals, community, and businesses?
The Ebola virus disease outbreak was one of the most severe infectious infection outbreaks in the recent past. The viral disease remains one of the deadliest and highly infections, which spreads through contact with body fluids, such as blood from an infected person or animal. The first reported case of Ebola was in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The disease got its name from the fact that the first case was in a village near the Ebola River. Sudan experienced the second major outbreak of Ebola, which infected 284 people and killing 151. The 2013–2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak caused about 28 000 reported cases and 11 000 deaths. The high infections nature and the fatality of the disease lead to the question about the effect of the Ebola virus epidemic for individuals, communities, and businesses. The disease had a significant impact on people globally, whether infected or not. Although the outbreak was concentrated in Africa, even Americans were afraid of contracting the disease. Clearly, the effect of the Ebola Virus disease has a complicated effect, which informs the need to research from a disciplinary perspective, sociology, Psychological and Economic point of view. Although many other points of view could be useful in explaining the disease, the sociology, psychological and economic impacts sum up the highly complex phenomenon in human history because the interdisciplinary approaches are integrative and provide a comprehensive understanding.
The Ebola virus disease had a multifaceted effect on individuals, as well as local and international communities, because of its high infectious nature. The research focused on the short- and long-term impacts of the epidemic. However, only an interdisciplinary could provide a comprehensive analysis of the social, psychological, and economic effects of the disease on individuals, communities, and countries. The current analysis of the effects of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak takes interdisciplinary research to understand the condition comprehensively.
Sociological View of Ebola
The Ebola disease affected people from a sociological perspective because of its highly infectious nature and the need to remain away from the sources of the infecting agent. The transmission of Ebola occurred through contact with infected bodily fluids, which made people afraid of maintaining social contact for fear of the disease passing from one person to another. Unfortunately, people could be separated from their families once some were infected for fear of the disease spanning out of control. Individuals separated because of contact experienced loss, grief, and distress because they could not be around to care for their sick relatives. The fear even became a reality because some people in West Africa became sick because of caring for their sick relatives. Some people around the world also experienced the social ramifications of the disease, such as social isolation because of the fear of infection. For example, in the U.S., African Americans experienced a unique type of victimization and even physical aggression because the disease originated in Africa. The sociological effect of the disease in the U.S. was evident, although the country experienced only a few imported cases of the disease. The disease made people afraid of others and even avoided coming into contact because they were never sure who would be infected by the virus.
Survivors experienced significant stigmatization, threatened, attacked, evicted, and even abandoned by their families and people in their community because they considered then dangerous and infectious. Cultural factors, such as Witcraft, lack of information, and misinformation, contributed to fear and stigma around Ebola. Many parents withdrew their children from school because of the fear of being infected. Another affected area is traveling because people could no longer travel abroad or to affected regions within the country.
Ebola has sociological effects at the community level because of the social distance, lack of trust, and stigma. People lacked trust in the health care system’s ability to fight the disease and community disrupted community activities. The disease also affects social interactions and damages social capital because people no longer get together for fear of the infection.
Psychological View of Ebola
The Ebola Virus disease had a significant impact on the psychological wellbeing of people in Africa and around the world, such as in the U.S. People who were infected and affected suffered severe distress of the uncertainty of dealing with a fatal disease. For example, the infected people were afraid of death. Ebola is a traumatic condition in terms of the severity of the infected and the high fatality rates. Besides the fear of death, individuals have to face the reality of watching others die, some very close to them. The effect of Ebola is long-term and remained in some body fluids, such as semen longer than people thought initially. Some survivors have reported having other psychological outcomes, such as memory loss, uveitis, and other abnormal conditions. The symptoms could last long after treatment.
The psychological effect of the Ebola virus disease is not limited to the infected in the course of the disease but continues long after they are healed. Survivors experience the trauma and stigma of the disease. They suffer feelings of shame or guilt, such as the fear that they could infect others. People in their communities could blame them for infecting others. Community and cultural activities changed because of the high rate of infection. For example, societies no longer buried people traditionally, and they had to follow specific protocols in disposing of bodies of infected persons for fear of infection. In counties outside Africa, psychological distress was evident as people feared the imported version of the virus. For example, Americans had an overwhelming fear of the Ebola Virus disease infection. The impact of the disease mentally was far-reaching.
The psychological effect of the disease was not limited to the infected and survivors but was also evident among caregivers, including family, health workers, and healers. The individuals witnessed the traumatic course of the disease and the death of their patients, which placed them at the risk of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They could also feel the shame and guilt of failing to prevent the patients from dying from the disease. Carers cared for patients for long hours, had limited equipment, and felt unable to provide adequate care, which led to frustration, anger, and helplessness.
Economic View of Ebola
The economic effect of the Ebola Virus disease is also complicated because people experience it differently. One of the areas that the disease affected economic outcomes is through the loss of productivity since sick people could not work. Besides, people would stay away from work and school because of the fear of infection. For example, during the 2013–2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was hit significantly economically until other countries, such as the U.S. began the effort to find a cure for the disease. A cure was critical because many health care systems in the affected communities were unable to cope with the severity of the condition and the numbers of people infected. Even caregivers were at a high risk of infection from the disease. The disease affected all sectors of the affected countries.
Ebola Virus disease affected the ability of the people to work, while families lost their breadwinners. Affected countries experienced structural repercussions, such as disruption to business and industry. Governments closed schools and markets, making it impossible for people to go to work and earn a living. Generally, the disease affected the livelihoods of individuals, households and communities. For example, the disease impacted on Liberian households, which mainly depend on agriculture. The outbreak disrupted agricultural production and productive efficiency, which led to a decline in household income. The evidence from Liberia is only one of the negative economic consequences of the Ebola Virus disease.
Ebola Virus disease is one of the most infectious diseases in the world. Although the outbreaks of the disease are concentrated in West Africa, they have social, psychological, and economic impact experienced across the world. To understand the consequences of the disease, researchers recommend an interdisciplinary approach due to the complex nature of the condition. The most recent Ebola Virus disease outbreak affected people socially because of social isolation, psychologically because of the mental distress of coping with the highly infectious disease, and economically due to the loss of livelihood.
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