The Ebola virus is a disease we all grew up knowing, but never took a vested interest in because it didn’t affect us.
It was a deadly-but-obsolete disease, a folk lore of sorts, not unlike leprosy, polio and the Black Plague. If anything, it was the punchline to a joke — a terrible disease you’ll jokingly wish upon somebody knowing that they’ll never get it. In the television show “Friends,” Chandler Bing once broke an awkward silence in one episode by quipping, “So, the Ebola virus … that’s got to suck, right?”
Well, now it sucks even more. Because it’s here.
It’d been widely reported that at least two Americans have been infected with Ebola, a fatal disease with no cure. In a sick twist of irony that Alanis Morissette would appreciate, the two were on a mission to aid Ebola patients in Liberia, where there is an outbreak, when they got infected.
And now, somebody in New York may or may not have it.
Before you go rushing to the medicine cabinet in fear that you may have it too (you naive, hypochondriac bastard), let’s go over what exactly Ebola is.
It has five strains of varying degrees of virulence, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is found in Africa, and while its origin is still unknown, it’s widely believed that it is animal-borne, likely from bats that go on to infect humans.
The problem is that Ebola in its earliest stages resembles the flu, and thus people who do get it are likely to not seek immediate treatment, or worse, go out in public and possibly infect others. Those suspected of having Ebola must be quarantined.
So the real question is: when do we start worrying?
Because this is how it starts, isn’t it? A foreign country has an outbreak. One unlucky American catches it while visiting, brings it back, and passes it on to one other person, who passes it on to another. Twelve days later, we’re all dead. We’ve all seen Outbreak. You know the story.
I actually haven’t seen Outbreak. But I have seen Contagion, which is very underrated, might I add.
Another underrated film? The Iron Giant. But that has nothing to do with Ebola.
Ebola starts with a fever and headache, escalates to diarrhea and stomach pain, and worsens to difficulty breathing and internal bleeding. This is probably something we should be concerned about. And not about how Beyonce’s remix is about the elevator fight between Solange and Jay-Z.
Although, speaking of people who I wouldn’t mind getting Ebola…
… I didn’t mean that. I wouldn’t wish Ebola on anybody.
Although I’d be fine if Kim Jong-un got it.