Last week the first person to come down with Ebola virus died. At least we think he’s the first.
It’s not time to panic yet, but you survivalists might want to warm up those protective bubble rooms and moonsuits you’ve been hiding in attic all these years. You might finally get to use them.
The man, who was from Liberia, traveled to this country after helping care for a pregnant woman who had the virus. When he was handed a questionnaire for health screening before departing from the airport, he indicated that he in fact had not had any contact with anyone stricken with the Ebola virus. In other words, he flat-out lied. I guess the low-tech questionnaire isn’t smart enough to detect non-truthful answers. So much for the honor system.
A few days after landing in Dallas, he started showing signs of having contracted the virus. He was vomiting and had a fever when he arrived at the hospital complaining of discomfort. Hospital officials at first mistook these symptoms as having accidentally listened to too many Justin Bieber songs and sent him home after first confiscating his iPod.
He told a nurse, who had evidently failed geography in school, that he had been to Africa recently. It seems she was someone who couldn’t locate Africa on a map and was watching entirely too much reality television and not enough news, because the mere mention of Ebola-like symptoms and Africa should have started alarm bells ringing.
Instead she summarily dismissed his concerns and told him to go home so she could go find out where Africa really was and to see if that bit of news had any relevancy to her after first checking to see how Kim Kardashian’s day went.
He then returned to the same hospital a couple of days later, only with worse symptoms. This time they actually listened to what he said, promptly admitted him after admitting their mistake and started treatment. He died soon afterward. Hospital officials still aren’t sure if he was killed by the virus or the hospital’s nurses’ treatment.
And it doesn’t end there. Now one of the nurses who treated him has become infected despite adhering to strict safety practices. Officials admit they were letting the nurse self-monitor for signs of the disease and insist she wasn’t considered a high risk despite the fact she had continuing and close contact with the deceased. OK, can we forget about the honor system already?
There is now a huge rumor on the Internet (so you know it must be true) that anyone who was in that hospital is coming under close scrutiny and officials are contemplating sending them all to the Moon for a few weeks as a precaution. I don’t think they would like it on the Moon, though. There’s just no atmosphere.
This Ebola rumor, however, has grown and everyone is talking about it. You might say it’s gone, ummm, viral.
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Sharon Gwillim. She correctly guessed that “13 = C. in a S.” was “13 = Cards in a Suit.” The word “cards” was listed in last week’s column.
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