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  • Writer's picturekwankew

Endless Summer and the Deadly Ebola Virus

Welfleet, Cape Cod is our summer refuge for at least two weeks of the year. The tradition started when my first child was born. Last year, everyone from the family was everywhere else and it was the first time in a long time that we did not descend on the Cape for our summer break.

Cape Cod brings back memories of long, lazy, leisurely, and stress-free days on the beach, family time cooking together, watching the sun set, taking long walks while enjoying the quaint cottage houses, visiting Uncle Tim’s Bridge, convincing myself to go for early morning runs especially on the beach, gallery-hopping, gazing at paintings to get inspirations to awake the muse in me to get on with my own, browsing the old book stores and curio shops, catching the fleas in the flea market, playing mini-golf and watching a late movie at the Welfleet drive-in, probably one of the few drive-ins left in Massachusetts.

Our stay in Welfleet is not complete without having ice cream at the Nice Cream Stop and of course the beaches. The narrow neck at Welfleet enables us to visit both the ocean and the bay beaches; they have their own unique charms and character. The ocean beach has wide beaches with the dangerously steep and high sandy hills suffering from onslaughts of continued erosion. The ocean waves when caught right on a boogie board buoyed one for a long joyful ride towards shore. However the water tends to be a lot icier than the bay water. The bay beach has a fluttering of waves on a windy day, calmer and less turbulent than the ocean, and during low tides, the mud flat teaming with creatures stretches out far into the ocean. We schlepped our way with our flip-flops which more often than not got stuck in the tenacious mud, making a sucking and slurping noise as we tried to pull them out.

At the Ocean Beach

This year we went to the Cape at the end of June. Most other happenings occur in July and August and so we missed Shakespeare’s at Mayo Beach. However while as transient visitors, the warm, bright, sunny days may very well lure us to thinking that Cape Cod summer is endless, winter is but a distant memory and a season long forgotten, but the permanent residents know better than to be deceived; Old Man Winter will always be around the corner to take his rightful place and perhaps then he will impress on any visitor who chances to be there that there is indeed an interminable harsh cold freeze to replace the seemingly endless summer.

But for the moment we are there, time is at a stand- still for us. We dream of a beautiful endless summer in Cape Cod, basking in the warm glow of the sun. Best of all in the middle of the silent cool summer night, one could enjoy the Milky Way.

The Cape House

In the middle of our stay at Cape Cod, an e-mail request came from Medical Teams International for volunteers to travel to Liberia to respond to the Ebola outbreak. I volunteered but was not sent right away. When two American healthcare workers became seriously ill with Ebola, MTI recalled the only volunteer they sent for his safety and security. There had been demonstrations outside the hospital where patients with Ebola were being treated. The Ministry of Health of Liberia has also temporarily suspended the use of volunteers from outside Liberia. My summer may seem endless and happy in contrast to the people affected by the virus, their nightmare continues and this horrifying and deadly virus is making their days eternally endless and dark.

If and when MTI begins calling for volunteers again, I will have no hesitation to respond.

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