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Entertaining thoughts of an Ebola conspiracy theory

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Lady Saw
Chakka Demus
Chris Brown
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The Ebola crisis is the hot topic of discussion worldwide, as many, while grappling with the fear of contracting the deadly virus, continue to question its origin and search for a cure.

While most subscribe to the information dispensed in media, there are some who have resorted to creating theories of their own - conspiracy theories.

International recording artiste Chris Brown recently received strong backlash from some fans on social media, after the singer tweeted that he believed the Ebola virus was created as a means of facilitating population control. While many disagreed with Brown's view and proceeded to hurl insults at the I Can Transform Ya singer, there were other fans who shared a similar view, saying Brown was simply echoing a sentiment shared by many concerned human beings.

The Sunday Gleaner contacted entertainers here in Jamaican, and with no surprise, their views were similar to that of Brown's. According to Grammy award-winning dancehall artiste Lady Saw, she has been following both the news and conspiracy theories, and is tempted to believe both. Even the recent plane crash near Port Antonio, Portland, was brought under the microscope. Lady Saw says it's no coincidence that so many diseases have surfaced simultaneously.

"I think it is population control …. Maybe it's the scientists that are doing this. I don't even believe in this mosquito argument with chik-V, because look how long mosquito biting me. The Bible said in the last days we would see diseases, but no, man, this is too much one time. I even hear people saying that plane which crashed in our waters was deliberate, because they wanted to put something in the sea … . I don't want to delve too much into this, but why every time it has to be in Africa that a disease breaks out? That strange, man," Lady Saw said.

Platinum-selling reggae dancehall artiste Chaka Demus was cautious, as he did not wish to ruffle any feathers with his opinion. However, the Murder She Wrote singer admitted that he felt that the Ebola virus reappeared at a time when Africa was thriving economically. He believes the re-emergence of the virus is a strange coincidence.

"Africa's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world right now after many years of turmoil, then all of a sudden Ebola. I find that very strange. When Africa is running the right way, it will be the most powerful place, because it is the largest continent. I don't want to point fingers at anybody, but this look fishy. Where was Ebola hiding all along?" he questioned.

CANCELLED ENGAGEMENTS

The singer also disclosed that he has cancelled all engagements in Africa until further notice, and says he will not be travelling to the affected areas in the US, either.

"When it cools down I will go back to Africa, and right now, I am not going to Texas, and if it reaches New York I am not going there, either," Chaka Demus said.

While dancehall artistes/actors Twin of Twins were uncertain about the origins of the Ebola virus, they were open to the opinions of others, and slammed persons who bashed others for their opinions on social media.

"The ego causes people not to understand that every view has value. Social media makes everybody think they are a star, some people get 1,000 likes on a photo and they think they are a celebrity and speak to others as they like. At present, we don't see the proof, so we can't say if Ebola was created or not," the duo declared.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two closely spaced outbreaks - in Zaire (Sudan) and in Yambuku (Democratic Republic of Congo) in Africa. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The first outbreak of Ebola (Ebola-Sudan) infected more than 284 persons, with a mortality rate of 53 per cent. Months later, the second Ebola virus emerged (Ebola-Zaire - EBOZ), infecting 318 persons, with a 90 per cent mortality rate, the highest of any of the Ebola viruses.

The third strain of Ebola, Ebola Reston (EBOR), was first identified in 1989, when infected monkeys were imported into Reston, Virginia, United States, from Mindanao in the Philippines.

curtis.campbell@gleanerjm.com