By now you’ve likely heard: a cause of Ebola has been confirmed in NYC.
I could’ve been the first to tell you. Why? The infected individual lives on my street. On my block. I’m not kidding.
Yesterday started off strange: myself and my 2 roommates all had the day off. This never happens. My roommate April came back from the laundromat around noon. She busted into the apartment, frantic.
“Why is no one picking up their phones!” she cried, “I’ve been calling you both for 15 minutes!”
My other roommate Rose and I had been eating lunch in the kitchen, our phones lying unattended in our bedrooms. “Sorry!” we both apologized, “What’s up? What happened?”
“The whole street in blocked off,” April said, “Police everywhere. I stood there for 15 minutes with my huge laundry bag. I didn’t have my ID and the police weren’t letting any one on the block who doesn’t live here.”
What the hell? What was going on?
“They wouldn’t tell me anything!” April said, “One cop said, ‘It’s really bad.'”
We speculated: Bomb threat? No, they would’ve evacuated us. Drug bust? Maybe. Human trafficking? Brothel? What the hell was going on?
None of us guessed Ebola. The thought didn’t fleet through our minds, not for a moment.
That evening CNN, Fox News, ABC, every network was reporting the confirmed case of Ebola. All these networks were swarming my street. They were still there this morning. I was interviewed by NPR 9AM, I hope I don’t regret agreeing to that!
So my neighbor has Ebola. Poor guy, my heart goes out to him and his loved ones. No, I did not know him. Lucky because he was a doctor, philanthropic, and cute. As a single woman in NYC, cliché would indicate that, had I known him, I would have been unable to resist swapping spit with him. Oh, wait, all articles mention his fiancé (who is now quarantined). Okay so there’s no way I ever would have or could have had contact with Craig Spencer‘s bodily fluids!
New Yorkers are notorious for not knowing their neighbors. We don’t knock next door looking to borrow a cup of sugar, much less a cup of bodily fluids. Am I concerned about contracting Ebola? No. Dude was a doctor and he was diligently monitoring for any symptoms. The chance he was actually contagious and in public is miniscule.
However, I do have a list of concerns regarding Ebola in NYC:
1 Is it possible to buy stock in hand sanitizer? Because if so I need to get on that. Sales have no doubt already skyrocketed.
2 Will surgical masks become in vogue? Because I really don’t think I can rock this look…
3 How many inappropriate “topical” Halloween costumes will be Ebola themed? Because that’ll get old really quick, like, immediately.
4 Am I morally obligated to tell my date tomorrow that I live on the same block as the one confirmed case of Ebola in NYC? On the bright side, if he’s so paranoid about Ebola that he doesn’t kiss me, that’ll be a clear deal breaker.
5 Are my friends and family who know I live on this street going to worry about me? Because I hope they realize my chance of somehow being electrocuted by the subway is far greater than me catching Ebola. That every time I walk under the scaffold across the street, the chance of it collapsing on me is far greater than me catching Ebola. That every time I buy ice cream from my neighborhood bodega, the chance I choke on a cherry in the Cherry Garcia is far greater than me catching Ebola.
I’m not making light of Ebola. The disease is serious, the situation in Africa is dire. But here in NYC, in America, we are fine. There are millions of more things we should be concerned about. I’m much more freaked out that this city is going to freak out than I am of any epidemic. Keep calm, NYC, we’re gonna be okay.