An American medical missionary who was infected in Liberia with the Ebola virus and is reported to be in “serious condition” has been transported to Georgia and is expected to arrive soon at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital for treatment.
I don’t think I’d be quite so antsy about this if I didn’t have to drive right past Emory University Hospital to pick my son up from school in an hour from now.
I also wouldn’t be quite as tense if the Centers for Disease Control, which is right down the street from Emory, didn’t recently fuck up the handling of the deadly anthrax bacteria nor bungle the deadly bird flu this past May as if it were all some slapstick horror movie. It’s bad enough worrying about whether the CDC will eventually become a target for bioterrorism. But they’ve recently proved to be so inept, you wouldn’t even need terrorist to cause a pandemic. You’d just need some pilled-out worker looking away and scratching his balls at precisely the wrong moment.
A couple days ago, The Onion did a funny article about how an Ebola vaccine “is still at least 50 white people from being developed.” The implication is that Ebola is a “black” disease and white people only started getting worried about it when it threatened to cross the ocean and start tapping at their front doors.
It reminds me of the mid-80s when everyone thought that AIDS was going to wipe the planet clean of all human life. If you expressed fear of HIV back then, you were called “homophobic” by the same jokers who insisted it wasn’t a “gay disease.”
Gay disease? Black disease? Who cares? I’m neither gay nor black, so that’s not where my “phobia” lies. Neither HIV nor Ebola discriminates. What I’m truly “phobic” of are lethal viruses, especially highly contagious ones. There’s some suggestion that unlike HIV, which typically requires either a direct injection or some rough and bloody sex, “the most lethal form of the Ebola virus can mutate into an airborne pathogen.” Is germophobia now a hate crime, too?
And I’m supposed to sit back and trust the government—which has recently bungled anthrax and bird flu like a black-humored Three Stooges episode—to handle all this? When I get back home, I’m going online to search for Hazmat suits.