My thoughts about Ebola in Africa

I haven’t had the time to write a post in ages… been swamped with work, plus I moved into a new place and I haven’t setup my internet there yet.

Anyway, down to the topic at hand. With the Ebola virus outbreak, and discussions going on at the office, I decided to say a few things about the Ebola “situation”. These are my thoughts about the topic, as my opinions, some enlightenment and perhaps general information.

Origins

So… the virus is not something new as it was first discovered in the 70’s from a monkey (HIV, and then what else from monkeys?!) by some scientist(s) or so. So, it’s an animal virus/disease but affects humans as well (like the swine flu, I guess).

2014 Outbreak

While the virus isn’t new, there are different strains (or species!?) of the Ebola virus but the outbreak of 2014 happened to be the deadliest strain know, which is what makes this year’s case special and more difficult.

Spread

The spread is facilitated by the fact that the early symptoms are basic, like headaches, fever, diarrhea and those who had no idea about Ebola, would try to treat these people according to these symptoms (eg. treating a fever, etc.). Putting things together from my research, those vulnerable to the #Ebola virus are those who are in direct contact with infected individuals (like family members, health workers treating the infected, and so on). That means the general public is not at risk, and this is evident as the number of infected people in Nigeria isn’t increasing. However, the other West African countries don’t seem to be handling the virus properly, hence the spread.

Contiguous

While Ebola isn’t airborne, it is contiguous nonetheless. However, you don’t get infected by mare physical contact with the infected. The virus can be gotten from body fluids of infected persons or animals, like blood, sweat, saliva, and so on, coming in contact with your blood stream somehow. Like through ingestion, or contact with cuts and open wounds, and so on. So physical contact with an infected body fluid increases your chances of infection, but doesn’t mean you’re get infected once you touch infected blood or sweat, etc.

Prevention

Since the virus actually has to get inside your body before you get infected then washing your hands properly or using disinfectants and personal sanitizers can kill the virus before it gets inside your body. And apparently, exposure to direct sunlight also kills the virus (outside the body). Also, people have been advised to stay off “bush meat” and some ‘suspect’ that animals like antelopes or chimps may contribute to the spread of the virus.

Bush Meat?

I saw on AlJazeera the other day the president of the Nigerian Association of Hunters saying that this is a big lie. I must admit, I have to agree with him! Nigerians have been eating bush meat for as far back as I can remember, and even I love bush meat. Ebola only got into Nigeria through the infected Liberian-American (RIP), so how is it that the bush meat that has been eating for decades suddenly became infected?! How’s that possible? Unless a vast majority of animals in Nigeria fed off the carcass of those infected… there’s about no way bush meat in general can spread the virus. Nevertheless, people have refused to refrain from eating bush meat in Nigeria.

Treatment?

They say the fatality rate of Ebola is 50% to 90%. This means that out of every 10 infected people, 5 to 9 of them would die, or 1 to 5 of them would survive. So it makes me wonder… those that survived, what did they do to survive the Ebola??! I saw an Ebola survivor explaining his experience on TV the other day, but he made no mention of what he did to overcome the virus.

In Summary?

So in summary, the Ebola virus is rather deadly because it is highly fatal, it has no officially documented cure and those infected have about a month to live (50% to 90% of the time). Despite the deadliness of the stain of Ebola that broke out in West Africa recently (since December 2013), it is still preventable. Those in Nigeria still go about their normal day to day business as usual, and life goes on.

Unfortunately for those in other infected West African countries (like Liberia), life isn’t the same. Some countries have closed their borders to the infected countries for now, until things are under control. Even Air France has cancelled flights to Liberia for now, and according to AlJazeera, Liberia says it may take up to 6 months before things start to look normal again for the country.

China has sent sanitary materials and clothing to the infected countries, while Canada and USA have sent limited quantity of experimental drugs to West Africa (mostly Liberia, I guess).

Ebola is a deadly virus, but it is very preventable.

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Something for the new year

I know it’s late for new years’s resolutions or whatever, but here are somethings you can do to make your new year better than the last.

 

Health

  1. Drink a glass of water at least 15 minutes before each meal
  2. Have a salad for supper every other day
  3. Drink a cup of tea after meals
  4. Do 30 push ups (or as much as you can) before each shower
  5. Have some red wine
  6. Eat until you’re about 80% full, then stop
  7. Eat fresh fruits between meals
  8. Move around the room at least once every hour
  9. Have a cup of tea before bed
  10. Eat only when you’re hungry

 

Well-being

  1. Arrive work a little earlier
  2. Write for 15 minutes a day (maybe start a blog)
  3. Listen to the radio while driving
  4. Read at least one article related to your field / career each day
  5. Listen to music while you work
  6. Talk to a stranger while commuting
  7. Take a light break from work every 30 minutes
  8. Help a colleague at work
  9. Tidy your desk at the end of each work day
  10. Spend some time in nature

Tip For Quick Coffee Drinkers

If you drink quick coffee like me, say at work or so, here's a tip for you
If you drink quick coffee like me, say at work or so, here’s a tip for you
Simply fold the wrap and use to stir
Simply fold the wrap and use to stir

 

Quick, easy, no need for spoon... Enjoy!
Quick, easy, no need for spoon… Enjoy!

Tip For Salad Lovers (Green Pepper)

Here’s one tip for salad lovers…

To enhance the taste of your salads, simply slice a couple of Green Pepper in it. Green pepper can also be used to add flavor to beans, and tomato stew 🙂

Green Pepper
Green Pepper

There’s a Kebab shop close to where I work and I used to eat Kebabs there a lot. With bring alone wit each plate, one roasted green pepper. For years, I would just throw it away or not eat it. Once day, I decided to give it a try. I thought to myself that if they put it there, they it should be eaten and not for decoration lol I gave it a bite, and my taste bugs were opened to the world of green pepper… In my next salad, I included it and the taste was never the same again! That’s how green pepper made its way into my Special Salad 🙂

Trivial: Fresh, Orange, Juice

“Fresh” Orange Juice: Meaning, the ‘orange juice’ is fresh. Doesn’t necessarily mean that the oranges were fresh, just means the oranges were freshly juiced.

“Fresh Orange” Juice: Meaning ‘fresh oranges’ were squeezed to give the juice. Still doesn’t mean the juice is fresh. The oranges could have been fresh last week and were juiced when fresh (last week).

“Fresh Orange Juice”: Meaning freshly squeezed juice from fresh oranges. Oranges are fresh, juice is fresh.

Kheme’s Special Salad

For some time now, people have requested the recipe for my so-called “Special Salad” and so I finally decided to publish this.

Salad Ingredients

  1. Cabbage (1 small)
  2. Carrots (1 big or 200g)
  3. Halloumi cheese (1 block or 250g)
  4. Cucumber (2 pieces)
  5. Green pepper (2 big ones or 200g)
  6. Kidney beans (1 can)
  7. Tuna fish (1 can or 100g)
  8. Sweet corn (1 can or 260g)
  9. Lemons (or lemon sauce)
  10. Seedless olives (150g – I prefer stuffed green olives)
  11. Onions (1 big or 200g)
  12. Parsley (1 bundle or a hand full)
  13. Mayonnaise
  14. Olive oil
  15. Apple cider vinegar
  16. Raisins (80g)
  17. Eggs (1 boiled egg)
  18. Tomatoes (2 or 250g)

Optional Ingredients

  1. Lettuce (1 bunch)
  2. Red cabbage (1 small)
  3. Pomegranate syrup
  4. Almond nuts (100g)
  5. Cashew nuts (100g)
  6. Groundnuts (80g)

 

Notes on Salad Preparation

This recipe make enough salad to serve 11 people. Carrots should be diced to make the salad crunchy. For me, crunchy = more chewing. If you don’t like crunchy, then you can grate them.

The lettuce is optional because it tends to get bitter if the salad spends days in the fridge. Some find nuts in salad strange, hence they too are optional. But I urge you to try them out first. Pomegranate syrup enhances the taste a lot, but you can eat it with the recommended dressing and skip the syrup.

Preparation

Dice (not slice) the following into a large pan/pot/bowl: cabbages (green and red), carrots (with the back), lettuce, cucumber (with the back), green pepper, olives (cut in half), onions, tomatoes and parsley. Grate the cheese into the mixture.

Drain the sweet cord and kidney beans, and pour into the mix. Empty the tuna into small bowl and mix until large chunks become smaller, then add to mix.

As for the nuts, mix the nuts together (like a nuts salad)… almond, groundnuts, cashew nuts and raisins, and keep these somewhere.

Dressing

After serving, use the following as dressing…

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil (the more, the better)
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate syrup
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon or lemon sauce

Eating

As a regular meal

Add the dressing above, a hand full of mixed nuts and 1 sliced boiled egg.

Eat without dressing, or with light dressing for better taste (1 spoon mayonnaise, 1 spoon olive oil, 1 spoon pomegranate syrup and 1 spoon lemon sauce or half lemon)

With rice

When the rice is about 15 minutes away from boiling, simply put salad (without dressing) to cover surface of rice, and let it all cook together. Add some butter or bullion (knorr) cubes for improved taste.

More Notes

I usually prepare mine with all ingredients listed, and like in the photos below. Also, I added olive oil because oil takes time to break down so you get hungry slower than eating plain salad. The more olive oil, the longer it would take for you to get hungry. But I recommend about 3 spoons, maximum 4. And don’t worry about the taste, you probably won’t notice the presence of the olive oil in the salad. The olives and green pepper are also to improve the taste.

Photo Reference

Let me know after you try it. Bon appetit!

How To Preserve Tomato Paste (Tinned Tomatoes)

In the last 7 years of my life, I have been cooking most of what I eat, and preserving tomato paste (or tinned tomatoes) had always been a challenge for me. It wasn’t until November of 2013 that I found out how to preserve them.

Until recently, I would leave the unused paste in the glass jar, and pour some oil to cover the surface up to about 2 cm. Even with this method, the tomatoes will still go bad. Too many times I’ve had to throw away tomato paste because it got bad.

Then several months ago, I used some tomatoes and had half of the can unused. I put the remaining paste in a small yogurt cup (picture below) as I had lots of them lying around. To my surprise, 4 weeks later the paste was still there and not at all bad! Not even one spot of the white stuff that grows on it when it goes bad.

To be sure it wasn’t luck, I tried it again and same result. Since I started storing my tomato paste in little air-tight cups like this, they never ever went bad.

Small Yogurt Cup
Small Yogurt Cup
Tomato Paste Doesn't Go Bad
Tomato Paste Doesn’t Go Bad