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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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EndNotes

Ebola and our responsibility

In this photo taken Sunday Sept. 28, 2014, Emmanuel Junior Cooper sits at his St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans, having lost their mother Princess in July, and their father Emmanuel in August. Their 5-month-old baby brother Success also succumbed to the virus in August. In Liberia�s large, deeply religious families, there is usually an aunty somewhere willing to take in a child who has lost a parent. But Ebola, and the fear of contagion and death, is now unraveling bonds that have lasted for generations. (Jerome Delay / Associated Press)
In this photo taken Sunday Sept. 28, 2014, Emmanuel Junior Cooper sits at his St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans, having lost their mother Princess in July, and their father Emmanuel in August. Their 5-month-old baby brother Success also succumbed to the virus in August. In Liberia�s large, deeply religious families, there is usually an aunty somewhere willing to take in a child who has lost a parent. But Ebola, and the fear of contagion and death, is now unraveling bonds that have lasted for generations. (Jerome Delay / Associated Press)

When I was a student at Gonzaga, I was privileged to spend a year in Florence. We traveled to exotic places – the Holy Land, Greece, Jordan, the USSR, and to romantic destinations, like Venice.

And while we rode those click-clack trains, our brains - still not fully formed – did form opinions. The best lesson learned? We are the same. Human beings around the world weep and laugh and love and seek similar destinies – within different cultures. Years after I returned to the US, a bomb exploded in the Uffizi, a Florence museum. I wept as I watched the news.

A man I know served in the Peace Corps, in Liberia. How his heart must break these days as he observes the Ebola epidemic from afar, ravaging a country he loves.

No matter if we have ridden the click-clack trains of Liberia or not, we are all citizens of the world.  We should  bear witness to our fellow human beings’ suffering - and weep.  

(S-R photo: Emmanuel Junior Cooper sits at his St. Paul Bridge home in Monrovia, Liberia. The Cooper children are now orphans.) 



Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.