“When I first heard about Ebola, I heard that there was a sickness in Guinea called Ebola but I never took it seriously, I wasn’t thinking about it. We were just hearing if you touch somebody, you’re going to contract a serious disease. We never took it seriously until we had it in our area. I started to get scared – Ebola was spreading to our country.
But some people were making fun of it. There was a story going round about a guy from Kono that pretended to have Ebola. He took out his phone, called his sister and spoke loudly saying, “i’m just coming back from the hospital and the doctor said I have Ebola.” He did not have the disease but everybody ran for their lives because they knew Ebola was dangerous by then.
I was supposed to take my exam to go to college, I studied all year and just two weeks till the exam, we were told we cannot take it because of Ebola. Ebola has banned all public gathering and the exam has been postponed indefinitely. I don’t have the desire to study anymore; it’s really difficult for us.
My friend contracted the disease. He had fallen ill, not knowing it was Ebola. He was taken to the Kenema hospital – there he was taken care of and diagnosed with Ebola. I wanted to talk to him but I wasn’t able to. It was very difficult, he was one of my friends and the first person I know to have contracted the disease. I wanted to visit him but it wasn’t safe to go there. I tried to call him, his phone was ringing and nobody was picking up. Later for me to hear that he had passed away was shocking. It’s very difficult losing your friend to Ebola. Every time I hear the ambulance, it scares me.
I’m a football fan, I love watching football. As i said, the government has banned all public gathering in Sierra Leone. We used to watch football in pubs, in our houses, or pay to watch it. I follow football with my life and me being without watching football is really difficult. I cannot do what I like, I cannot be with friends, I cannot go where I want to go, I cannot socialise anymore. Ebola has had a huge impact on us, especially students. In fact, it has had an impact on all sectors of life in Sierra Leone.”