1The preacher who wants to cure Ebola with 4,000 bottles of his patented holy water
Sierra Leone just got a big gift from a strange man. To help the West African country fight the escalating Ebola crisis, Nigerian/ Christian preacher and millionaire Temitope Joshua sent the Sierra Leone government 4,000 bottles of his patented holy water and $50,000 in cash in a private jet, which also cost $50,000 to charter.
For years, Joshua has been claiming to use his magic water to cure a host of health problems, including infertility, tumors and more. He also claims that he has been distributing the anointing water to several nations including the USA, UK, Greece, India, and Russia, through his church, the Synagogue Church of All Nations, based in Lagos. The water, he says, has helped the "sick, afflicted and oppressed."
Joshua was one of the five millionaire Nigerian pastors profiled by Forbes magazine in 2011. At the time, the article estimated his net worth at $10 - $15 million. The massively influential preacher has hundreds of thousands of followers across the globe, with whom he holds meetings online and on the phone.
Sierra Leone will, one would assume, take every penny it can get to stem the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed around 1,000 lives worldwide. What will they do with the holy water, in the other hand, is a mystery.
2The Israeli readers who voted Ebola the "best birthday present" for Obama
Readers of the prominent Israeli news site Mako have overwhelmingly voted in favor of sending President Barack Obama an envelope containing the Ebola virus for his birthday.
The site, which belongs to the Channel 2 company “Keshet” (the most widely watched broadcasting network in Israel), posted a survey in August 2014asking readers what they would like to give the president for his 53rd birthday. The options were as follows:
A) Peace in the Middle East (22%)
B) Golf clubs (11%)
C) A box set of Israeli television series Prisoners of War (9%)
D) A remix by Noi Alush (local video artist) of Netanyahu's now-famous “Don't ever second guess me again” line (10%)
E) An envelope with the Ebola virus (48%)
The results did not cause Mako to reconsider the list of options, or remove the survey. It was only a month after that Mako declared it would enact a new policy of filtering hate speech in its comments section. Doesn't seem to be working, does it?
3The man who got Ebola after stealing a phone from Ebola patient at Uganda hospital
Karma is a bitch, and in this case, an infectious deadly one. It all started when a man stole a mobile phone from a patient in an isolation ward at Kagadi Hospital, in Western Uganda.
As it turns out, the patient was suffering from Ebola, one of a number of cases in a recent outbreak in Uganda. The patient later died from the hemorrhagic fever, but before dying, he reported the theft of his phone to hospital security, who began investigating. Police detectives traced the suspected thief, age 40, after he began communicating with his friends using the stolen phone.
As police zeroed in on him, he developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and sought medication at the hospital.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced in a televised broadcast that people should refrain from physical contact like shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting Ebola. And from stealing cell phones, evidently.
4The pub in South Korea that rejected African customers over Ebola fears
Signs posted outside of a South Korea pub banned all Africans from patronizing the establishment out of fears from Ebola.
"We apologize but due to Ebola virus we are not accepting Africans at the moment," read the signs on the window at JR Pub in Seoul.
That's 1.1 billion people who would be banned from the pub — even though there are no reported cases of the deadly disease in South Korea. Paranoia, anyone?
It is not known who posted the signs, but the outrage was pouring in on social media after a photo of the offending messages were displayed on Facebook. When reached by the Korea Times on phone, the JR Pub spokesman did not want to discuss his restaurant's new policy or whether he believed Ebola was a disease exclusive to black people.
5The rap music that was inspired by Ebola
Few viruses can are known to be the inspiration for hit dance tunes, but Ebola – which can kill up to 90% of victims and has no vaccine or cure – is not your average pathogen.
When ebola struck the music-crazy nations of Guinea and Liberia, it spawned mass panic – and the outbreak of a new dance accompanied by an infectious rap song.
"Ebola, Ebola in town. Don't touch your friend! No kissing, no eating something. It's dangerous!" warns the chorus of "Ebola in Town," which is looped over a catchy, trippy electro-dance beat. The rapper lyrically describes an attempt to escape the virus by fleeing to neighboring Guinea only to discover the disease lurking there too.
Clubbers bitten by the musical bug have come up with a "no touching" jig in roadside bars of the Liberian capital of Monrovia.
This musical comic relief follows in the tradition of other virus influenced hits such as Ivory Coast's Crazy Chicken dance, inspired by the bird flu virus. Aside from comic relief, the song also communicates vital information needed to curb the virus, which is spread through contact with fluids of infected people or animals, like urine, blood and saliva.
Listen to the music here.
6The eccentric millionaire who thinks that doctors infected with Ebola "must suffer the consequences!"
Continuing his Twitter rant that started with demanding that American healthcare workers infected with the Ebola virus not be allowed back into the country for treatment, bombastic businessman Donald Trump tweeted that those workers “must suffer the consequences,” for their humanitarian impulses.
Ebola victim Dr. Kent Brantly had recently returned to the U.S. and was being treated in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Nancy Writebol (who is now recovering), a missionary working for U.S. charity Samaritan's Purse, was also due to arrive in the U.S. for treatment when Trump tweeted. The ess than sympathetic mogul said:
"Ebola patient will be brought to the U.S. in a few days - now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE." And "Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S. Treat them, at the highest level, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!"
Their crime? Caring for the world.
7The U.S. pastor who believes Ebola could be a good solution to atheism and homosexuality
The worldwide Ebola epidemic has already killed more than 900, but the virus is not a big menace for those living in America. Actually, doctors in the U.S. are still more worried about influenza than Ebola, but leave it to some religious extremists to use Americans' fears as a tool to evangelize.
Take Pastor Rick Wiles, who claims to be a journalist at TruNews, "an internationally recognized source of credible news and information in a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore."
“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that's another name for plague," Wiles tells his radio audience. "It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”
“If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you've been marked by the angels so that you're protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.”
Pastor Wiles also warned "that President Obama may intentionally spread Ebola using an ineffective vaccine, which would lead to Americans being forced into FEMA camps."
Repent now, everyone!
8The politician in France who thinks Ebola could solve Europe's emigration problems
In May 2014, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France's far-right Front National, suggested the deadly virus Ebola could solve the global "population explosion" and by extension Europe's "immigration problem."
At a cocktail party before an election rally in Marseille, Le Pen spoke of the "demographic explosion" in the world. "Monseigneur Ebola could sort that out in three months," he said in front of journalists. Later, Le Pen, 85, said he feared the French population risked being "replaced … by immigrants."
Jean-Marie Le Pen has been accused and convicted several times of xenophobia and anti-Semitism. In February 2005, a court in Paris ruled that his remarks about Muslims in an interview with Le Monde
constituted an incitement to racial hatred and he was fined €10,000 (£8,100) plus €5,000 in damages. The conviction and fines were upheld on appeal.
In 1987, Le Pen said he supported the forced isolation of those infected with the HIV virus. In June 1996, he complained that the French World Cup football team contained too many non-white players.
9The small businesses that are profiting with Ebola
Infectious disease experts have assured the U.S. public that Americans' chances of contracting the illness at home are virtually none, but if you still want Ebola, you can have it adorning your walls, necks or even your children's playrooms, for a price.
A handful of North American-based businesses sell Ebola-themed products ranging from jewelry to home decor. A bronze pendant featuring the virus' wormlike body sells on Etsy for less than $8. Those on the hunt for kid-friendly swag might consider an Ebola stuffed toy. The company that makes such toys, reports that the virus' spread in western Africa has led to an uptick in orders.
NOTE: all the products mentioned here were already produced long before the recent Ebola outbreak (most of them for educational purpose).