Liberian couples marry, a sign of less Ebola fear
Robert Kollie and his fiancee postponed their October wedding as Ebola ravaged Liberia's capital. The government had warned people to avoid large gatherings. Weddings are full of kissing and hugging and just one unknowingly sick person could infect dozens.
A month later, even as Ebola continues to ravage parts of West Africa, the situation has improved in Monrovia and a scenic park in the eastern suburbs is once again busy on weekends with photographers shooting bridal parties. The Kollies were among them.
"When Ebola was spreading and at the same time my wedding was being prepared, I asked myself what will I tell God if I die in this crisis and don't get married?" Yongor Kollie, 31, told the Associated Press, flanked by her bridesmaids. "And so today, I am a happy woman."
Happy but still cautious.
"Even before coming here, we had to wash our hands," said the 33-year-old groom, referring to the ubiquitous plastic buckets with water and bleach that Liberians have come to accept as a daily part of life.
Liberia has been hardest hit of the West African countries battling Ebola outbreaks, with more than 2,800 people killed this year. But the number of new cases has dropped precipitously in Monrovia after months of public awareness campaigns emphasising the need to isolate the sick and get tested as soon as symptoms emerge, according to the World Health Organization.