In his book Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History, the physician and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer explains, unflinchingly, why the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak killed more than 11,000 Africans while almost every single Westerner who contracted the illness survived. The difference between life and death came down to, quite simply, access. In clinics in Guinea, Libera, and Sierra Leone, equipment and fluids that would have saved countless lives were nonexistent. A few simple interventions would have made all the difference. “How many of these deaths were caused more by the virulence of social conditions than by the virulence of the pathogen?” Farmer asked.
Read more: The Heat Gap