Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Ebola nightmare – Working from home


The week right after I conducted my unsuccessful field visits, the country was hit with an extreme health crisis – the Ebola virus disease outbreak. The government announced that the situation was a national health emergency and that all necessary measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the disease. The disease spreads through contact with the body fluids (sweat, urine, saliva, etc) of those “acutely” ill. The government took measures to discouraged public gatherings, which is a potential conduit of the disease, by sending many of its staff home, closing all schools, postponing the national football (soccer) leagues, etc. There was (is) great fear and panic engulfing the population as many packed to depart the country. To avoid all interaction with people, I opted to work from home since I really just had to analyse the responses I gathered from the field and create a report with some recommendations.

The challenge then of working from home was discipline. This meant I could sleep-in every day, watch endless amount of tv, and just hangout around my neighborhood. The temptation was very present. It was a struggle for the first few days of working from home but I was quickly reminded that I wanted to leave a legacy at the institution and that required me to deliver quality work.  The other major conundrums for me were the lack of internet and electricity as my house isn’t covered by the government’ electricity supply. We sourced power from a community vendor and this only came in at night. During the day I would move to a nearby area, where there’s very minimal human interaction to get my work done. However, I managed to deal with those challenges and gradually get my work done and awaiting my final days at the organization.