Ever since Ashlee won the whole series of Little House on the Prairie books in her first month with us, she has been fascinated with Little House. We got the first season of the TV series and have been watching it together.
Last weekend we arrived at an episode called “Plague” about the spread of typhoid in Walnut Grove. As we were watching, I was flipping through the newspaper I hadn’t gotten to the day before. And there before me was the plague in our time. No, it wasn’t typhoid but cholera, spreading quickly in Haiti. Officials are worried about how the numbers will jump when—not if, they say—the disease hits the tent cities of Port-au-Prince.
Living our insulated lives, it’s hard to remember that plagues still ravage the world, plagues that can be prevented, in this case by proper sanitation and clean drinking water. While officials try to find the cause, and some blame the U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, the goal should be to eradicate this disease and other plagues from the planet. In most cases we have the know-how. We just need the will—and the funding—to do it.
If you want to help with the immediate need in Haiti, you can support Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in English, Doctors without Borders, or Partners in Health. If you want to work toward long-term solutions, consider a donation to The Carter Center’s health programs or UNICEF’s Achieving Zero Campaign.
If only plagues were relegated to old TV shows about an olden time rather than reality. (I guess I can be thankful that at least it’s not yet on reality TV.)