Most of the fatal cases of Ebola Sudan can be traced back through chains of infection to the quiet Mr. Yu. G. A hot strain radiated out of him and nearly devastated the human population of southern Sudan. The strain burned through the town of Nzara and reached eastward to the town of Maridi, where there was a hospital.
It hit the hospital like a bomb. It savaged patients and snaked like chain lightning out from the hospital through patients' families. Apparently the medical staff had been giving patients injections with dirty needles. The virus jumped quickly through the hospital via the needles, and then it hit the medical staff. A characteristic of a lethal, contagious, and incurable virus is that it quickly gets
into the medical people. In some cases, the medical system may intensify the outbreak, like a lens that focuses sunlight on a heap of tinder.
The virus tranformed the hospital at Maridi into a morgue. As it jumped from bed to bed, killing patients left and right, doctors began to notice signs of mental derangement, psychosis, depersonalization, zombie-like behavior. Some of the dying stripped off their clothes and ran out of the hospital, naked and bleeding, and wandered through the streets of the town, seeking their homes, not seeming to know what had happened or how they had gotten into this condition. There is no doubt that Ebola damages the brain and causes psychotic dementia. It is not easy, however, to separate brain damage from the effects of fear. If you were trapped in a hospital where people dissolving in their beds, you might try to escape, and if you were a bleeder and frightened, you might take off
your clothes, and people might think you had gone mad.
For reasons that are not clear, the outbreak subsided, and the virus vanished. The hospital at Maridi had been the epicenter of emergence. As the virus ravaged the hospital, the surviving medical staff panicked and ran off into the bush. It was probably the wisest thing to do and the best thing that could have happened, because it stopped the use of dirty needles and emptied the hospital, which helped to break the chain of infection.
There was another possible reason why the Ebola Sudan virus vanished. It was
exceedingly hot. It killed people so fast that they didn't have much time to infect other people before they died. Furthermore, the virus was not airborne. It was not quite contagious enough to start a full-scale disaster. It traveled in blood, and the bleeding victim did not touch very many other people before dying, and so the virus did not have many chances to jump to a new host. Had people been coughing the virus into the air ... it would have been a different story. In any case, the Ebola Sudan virus destroyed a few hundred people in central Africa the way a fire consumes a pile of straw-until the blaze burns out at the center and
ends in a heap of ash-rather than smoldering around the planet, as AIDS has done, like a fire in a coal mine, impossible to put out. The Ebola virus, in its Sudan incarnation, retreated to the heart of the bush, where undoubtedly it lives to this day, cycling and cycling in some unknown host, able to shift its shape, able to mutate and become a new thing, with the potential to enter the human species in a new form.
1. Identify the three elements of the rhetorical triangle.
a. Who is the speaker? (education, ethnicity, era, political persuasion, etc.)
b. Who is the audience?
c. What is the subject?
2. What is the author saying about the subject? What is his/her assertion?
3. What is the author’s attitude (tone) about the subject?
a. What specific word choice (diction) clues the reader in?
b. What figures of speech are used? Does the imagery/analogies/allusions conjure positive/negative/angry/melancholy/activist feelings in the reader?
c. What type of syntax is used? (short, abrupt, choppy; lengthy, thoughtful, questioning) Are there any rhetorical questions?
d. What kinds of rhetoric does the author employ? (ethos, pathos, logos, inductive/deductive reasoning, syllogisms)