William hated - no, despised - Sierra Leone more and more with passing day. Ebola had transformed the tiny West African nation into a land of death, and the thick air reeked of festering, lifeless bodies and all manner of excretions no matter how far away from the makeshift hospital one went. To make matters worse, the inescapable heat cooked them in their heavy personal protective equipment, and the impermeability of the polyvinyl-coated material meant that their sweat had no way of evaporating, couldn’t offer them any relief as the temperature of their bodies slowly rose. All it did was drench their skin and clothes, dripping into their eyes and fogging up their face shields until they could barely see in front of them. Every hour, they rotated shifts to allow the unfortunate souls working before them to temporarily step out of their suits and walk to the aid station about twenty yards away from the former schoolhouse to the replace the borderline-dangerous amount of sweat they had lost with warm, technically-clean water from the massive cooler set up on a rickety desk that the locals had dragged out of the schoolhouse when they were first clearing it.
Today the temperature was unbelievable. Two nurses had already passed out, and the rest of them had come to believe that they weren’t too far from finding themselves in the same condition. While 87 degrees wasn’t unbearable in shorts and a t-shirt, it was potentially lethal if a person had no way to cool themselves or was already brinking on death by dehydration (in fact, three patients had died of exactly that cause in the past hour). Hence, they’d taken to rotating every 45 minutes on this particular day.