The Truth about Fear & Ebola

As scary as I make some of my more villainous characters, none of them will ever compare with what’s out there in that place referred to as “reality”.

Take Ebola.

Ebola virusEbola is frightening.

Ebola terrifies us because:

  • It challenges the deeply cherished belief that modern medicine can defeat any infection;
  • It evolved to escape isolated jungle villages, sneak into major capitals and stow away on international flights;
  • It attacks the human body in a gruesome, messy way;
  • It has at least a 50% mortality rate (and that’s with treatment).



I live in Nairobi, Kenya. When the most recent outbreak of Ebola captured the media’s attention, family and friends living on other continents were naturally concerned.

The breakout was (at that point) limited to West Africa. Geographically, West Africa is closer to Europe than to East Africa. Despite this, Kenyan-bound tourists cancelled bookings, leaving beach hotels empty.

Ironically, the disease made its way to the USA and Europe, while it’s a no-show on this side of the African continent.

For now.

But fear is never about logic and statistics. That’s why horror movies and books work: they play with a part of our minds that remains unconvinced by risk analysis and probability, facts of geography and scientific reality.

That’s why we buy into zombie movies, even if a zombie apocalypse could never actually happen (fingers crossed).

That’s why we scare ourselves silly reading a ghost story late into the night, even if we don’t believe in ghosts (well, maybe a little).

That’s why Ebola will continue to haunt us, no matter how statistically unlikely infection is. Only when we find a cure or vaccine will we breathe easy.

Until Ebola mutates again…

While there’s no Ebola in Ghosts of Tsavo, there are some thrills and chills. Here’s your chance to win a free copy:

  • Nominate the book on Kindle Scout; if Amazon selects it for publishing, you’ll get a free copy! Vote here:
  • If Amazon doesn’t select the book, ask me for a review copy and I’ll send you one.

An Ebola-free “Cheers for now”!

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