Look in another place

If we get depressed about the tattered “heroes” of atheism and skepticism we can turn our attention away from them in favor of people like William Pooley, a nurse who caught Ebola while volunteering in West Africa. He was flown home to the UK and treated, and he recovered, so now he’s taking a well-deserved breather returning to Sierra Leone.

Mr Pooley will work at the isolation unit at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he will train staff and set up new isolation units.

He will work with a team from King’s Health Partners – a collaboration between King’s College London and three NHS trusts – which is operating in the country.

Dr Oliver Johnson, programme director for the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, said: “It is fantastic that Will has chosen to join our small team here at Connaught Hospital.

“The situation here in Freetown is getting worse by the day and so Will’s experience and commitment will be vital as we do everything we can to stem the flow of cases.

“The best way of stopping Ebola spreading even further is to fight it at its source and I look forward to working with Will to do just that.”

Hats off to you William Pooley and Oliver Johnson and your team and all the health workers in West Africa.


  1. says

    Does his survival in round I mean that he’s immune? I guess that’d be useful!! Courage, indeed – I’d be trying to position myself as far away on the planet as possible from that virus.

  2. says

    The article says the medical researchers don’t know how much immunity he now has, but he says he’s much safer than he was before. The researchers probably know more about it, so…I hope they’ve urged him not to relax his guard at all.

  3. quixote says

    Marcus, if I’ve understood what I’ve read, survivors are immune for some period of time (probably at least years) to the particular strain of Ebola they had. The problem is there are quite a number of strains, so even for someone who was recently ill, there are no guarantees.

    Which makes Pooley and the other health workers doing their jobs, knowing this, even more unassumingly heroic.

  4. Scr... Archivist says

    I am interested to learn what effect Pooley’s recover has on the people he treats. Might this be an in-person demonstration of the power of scientific medicine?

  5. latsot says

    I thought the same thing. What an impressive thing to do.

    Let’s not turn people into heroes, let us admire heroic actions and aspire to emulate the actions rather than the people. And let’s hold people we like to a higher standard than people we don’t.

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