The Saga of Thomas Eric Duncan

OK. I am trying not to be bothered, concerned…angry. But I am failing.

I am all of the above.

Thomas Eric Duncan died of the Ebola virus this week, despite being in America where, supposedly, one can receive the best health care. He came here showing no symptoms. When he got sick, he went to a hospital. He told them he had recently arrived here from Liberia. Didn’t matter. They didn’t admit him. They sent him home with antibiotics.

Kinda like, “take an aspirin and call me in three days.”

He went home and came back a couple of days later. Only then did someone think he might have Ebola. He was admitted …but he wasn’t given any of the experimental drugs the two previous Ebola patients received. Nor was he given a blood transfusion, using the blood of people who had the disease like the patient in Nebraska had.

No, for a week, he really received no drug or treatment that was specifically shown to have helped beat Ebola in other persons.

His systems began to shut down. He was put on a ventilator and then on dialysis.

And then he died.

And I am angry.

I am trying NOT to think that he was given different treatment because he was black. Someone said he didn’t have a social security card/number, or health insurance.

Maybe that’s why he was sent home.

Who knows? Well, that’s not such a good question – because SOMEBODY knows.

When health care people finally figured out that he might have Ebola, his apartment was …targeted.

I could not believe my eyes as the media splashed images of the apartment building where he had lived, along with the name of the complex, the address of the complex …and the door to his actual apartment.

His family was quarantined for a number of days. That’s good – except they couldn’t go out and nobody could get in. His family said they had nothing to eat.


Some people immediately throw off the suspicion that some of this disparate health care was because of racism.

It’s easier to deny racism’s existence than to come face to face with it, and its consequences.

Thomas Eric Duncan should not have died. He went to the hospital early in the onset of the disease. He told the hospital that he had recently arrived here from Liberia.

He should at least have been placed in isolation for observation.

But nothing.

Yes, I am angry. I am trying not to be …but I am failing.

A candid…and personal …observation.

2 thoughts on “The Saga of Thomas Eric Duncan

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