Getting Back to Normal

…Or whatever passes for normal in a post-conflict, post-epidemic country.  We’re not quite Ebola-free, but the countdown has begun.  We’ve gone ten days without a new case.  One is still in treatment, but should be released soon.  Once that happens, the WHO will begin its 42-day countdown to declare Liberia officially Ebola-free.

Things in Monrovia are starting to look the way they were pre-Ebola.  I think what did it is that schools have largely opened.  There was some controversy over if they would open February 2, February 16, or March 2.  Initially, the government set February 2 as the date, but realized that was unrealizable and moved it to the 16th.  The Legislature thought March 2 would be a better date, allowing more time for preparation.  At one point (on about February 13) the Ministry of Education announced March 2 as the date, then quickly retracted and went back to the 16th.  So, you can understand if people were confused.

Many schools opened on Februar 16.  Many parents kept their kids home.  Almost all the remaining schools opened on Monday.  We had the full array of uniforms on the streets going to and from school:  the green and white of the Catholic schools, the maroon of the Methodists, the deep blue of the Islamic schools, and the bright pink shirts of the Seventh Day Adventists.  We also had school year traffic, which has greatly increased transit times.

In spite of all the country has been through, and the bumps of getting children back in school, there’s a certain sense of relief in the air, almost as if people have really decided that it’s time to get on with their lives.

Like I said, back to normal.