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Ebola Virus Disease: List of Symptoms
The Ebola Outbreak 2013-2016: A Political Cartoon Analysis
Political cartoons provide readers with a deeper understanding of a particular issue affecting the society. Although the cartoons are satirical, they communicate what the public are afraid to say. Analysis of a political cartoon enables an individual to understand the perception of a group of people and how they respond to a given issue affecting them.
According to Spengler et al. (956), the outbreak of Ebola in some parts of West Africa between 2013 to 2016 recorded a fatality rate ranging from 25 % to 90%. Lessons learned from the outbreak made governments, and policymakers refocus on the measures put in place to curb the spread of the epidemic to their territories. Although some countries across the globe responded to the outbreak by offering a helping hand and sending health professionals to save the situation, others resorted to imposing tighter immigration policies and issuing travel bans. This essay analyses David Horsey’s cartoon to provide an understanding of the response and representation of United States of America during the Ebola outbreak. Moreover, the political cartoon provides an overview of the world’s response towards the issue.
In the cartoon, David Horsey reveals the inner perception of the U.S citizens towards Africans. A young lady is being deported by security officers who are well protected and careful not contract the disease. Horsey use red and yellow colors in the officers dressing to show the danger of Ebola. Although the girl explains that she is from the “library” and not “Liberia,” one of the officers tell her that she cannot be ‘too careful enough.' Horsey uses the conversation between the deportee and security officers to explain how Americans feel about the immigrants. It is clear that the government adopted strict immigration policies to ensure that Africans from the areas considered as Ebola zones to be barred from getting into the country. Although this move was necessary to curb the spread of the epidemic, it’s clear that some people have their stay in the U.S interrupted due to the outbreak (Spengler et al. 956). For instance, Horsey uses a book in the cartoon to indicate that the deportee who was a student cannot continue her education in the U.S due to the outbreak.
On the other hand, U.S citizens present in the scene all shout “quarantine her!” while others are running for their safety. Their actions may be due to the belief that Ebola virus was deadly given the various cases reported in West Africa. Additionally, it is clear that the knowledge they gained concerning the virus led to their fear of contact with Africa, African citizens, and travelers from African (Spengler et al. 956). Horsey reveals the level of ignorance among the citizens towards the best ways to manage the crisis.
The cartoon shows how Africa is portrayed in U.S and the rest of the world as an Ebola-affected continent where everyone would not want to be associated with. In fact, Africa has treated as a nation and not a continent. David Horsey uses the term “An outbreak of the stupid…” to explain how misinformation about the Ebola outbreak have an adverse impact on how Americans treat Africa and African citizens. Instead of deporting immigrants who have not tested positive for the virus, the U.S government should have put more strict measures to detect entry of persons who have been in contact or tests positive for the virus (Spengler et al. 956). Thus, Horsey uses a perfectly drawn cartoon to send a message on the need to create awareness among the public concerning Ebola. Moreover, he reveals the need to adopt more realistic immigration laws that only address the outbreak and not portray Africa as a dangerous zone.
Spengler, Jessica R., et al. "Perspectives on West Africa Ebola virus disease outbreak, 2013–2016." Emerging infectious diseases 22.6 (2016): 956.
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