9. The Decision-Making Point

After having convinced her mother that it was somewhat safe to travel to an Ebola zone, Yang eased her own mind. But, two days before she was scheduled to leave, an unexpected announcement caused the doubts to creep in again.

On July 31, 2014, Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, declared a national state of emergency. The death toll had then reached 729 victims.[1] He had military troops quarantine those infected, canceled foreign trips, and declared August 4, 2014 “National Stay at Home Day.” [2] If Yang decided to go, this would cause a one-day delay in her trip from Freetown to Kailahun, restricting her from reporting outside of her hotel.

With the support of the Star’s management, McAuley reminded Yang that it was entirely her decision whether or not to travel to West Africa. Yang had two more days to decide whether she wanted to board the plane.

 Next: Epilogue

[1-2]  “Ebola Outbreak Spurs Emergency Measures in West Africa,” The Toronto Star, July 31, 2014.