Germs can’t hurt you. You’re just being paranoid. We don’t even HAVE Ebola in this country.
Ha! Oh really now, Ms. Fancy Catholic Behavioral Specialist? Well, looks like that just changed.
For the record, none of my paranoid fantasies revolve around dying horribly by disease. In fact, I’m prone to eat off the floor if what’s crawling on it is appetizing enough. Germs don’t bother me. But because of my, uh, past proclivities for washing my hands with peroxide and using rubber gloves to read books, I often find myself surrounded by those who fear germs.
I knew a girl once who was afraid that everyone around her had AIDS and they just wouldn’t admit it. I was particularly triggering to her, as well as to other mysophobes, as some people at the hospital saw my low weight as a sign of AIDS. Whenever I’d mention my gums bleeding as a result of, uh, brushing them, telling them I had gingivitis wouldn’t be enough to dispel talk of Ebola. I didn’t take it personally. To people with OCD, every zit is a herpes sore.
In fact, at a recent hospital stay I had an African ward mate named Adebola. While the obsessive compulsives avoided him even more than they avoided the “Do Not Enter without Gloves” room, he was actually a very nice guy. He got electroshock early on and spent the entire stay pacing around listening to a wireless playing Willie Nelson. We had a lot to talk about.
But now, the threat of bleeding to death is very real. Everyone get cozied up this October with the 1996 Cantonese classic Yi Boh Lai Beng Duk (subtitled in English as Ebola Syndrome), starring Anthony Wong in an unforgettable and heartwarming role as a serial rapist with Ebola. It might just save your life. But any of us from the Child and Adolescent Center could’ve told you that.