by Marinka on August 5, 2014

In case you read this blog for all your breaking news, there is an Ebola outbreak going on right now. It’s mostly in Africa, although two infected American missionaries have been brought to the United States. Also someone walked into a NYC emergency room, feeling all Ebolaish, but the hospital spokersperson is telling us not to worry and inhale deeply, so all should be ok.

There is also no cure, so in case you’ve been sitting around trying to figure out what’s the next great thing to invent, I’d definitely give Ebola-Be-Gone a try.

Personally, I don’t like epidemics with no cure, but that’s just a personal preference, I can’t speak for everyone. What I can do is share a post that I wrote two years ago, because where Ebola is concerned, it’s pretty timeless.

* * *

As you may remember, this summer my daughter and I are reading The Hot Zone, Richard Preston’s account of the Ebola epidemic.

Obviously I’m reading it under duress and already have diagnosed myself with Ebola so I’m just awaiting the autopsy to confirm my findings.

But I’ve also learned a few interesting facts from the book and I’m going to share them with you here, absolutely free of charge.


1. There is a river called Ebola. It’s in the Congo, in case you’re still in the destination-shopping phase of your honeymoon planning.

2.The United States Army has veterinarians. They take care of the Army’s guard dogs, pigs, cows, sheep, horses, monkeys, mules and rabbits.

3. The United States Army seems to have a lot of animals. You’d think they’d feature it more prominently in their recruitment posters, but it’s almost like they’re not even trying to appeal to 9 year old girls.

4. The United States Army doesn’t seem to have any cats. I don’t understand how we can expect any of our stealth missions to succeed with this blatant anti-feline bias. Have we learned nothing from the Don’t Ask, Don’t Meow fiasco?

5. HIV is only a Biosafety Level 2 agent. Ebola is a Biosafety Level 4 agent, although after reading the book, I am going to start a petition to have it upgraded to Biosafety Level 8 kazillion. (By the way, “What’s your Biosafety Level?” is an excellent pick up line!)

6. The good people at the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)were reluctant to travel to the Hot Zone. “They did not care to do research on Ebola because they did not want Ebola to do research on them.” Finally, a sentiment I agree with. I wonder if it’s too late for me to enlist?

7. “The first line of defense against a hot agent is sticky tape, because it seals cracks.” I don’t know about you, but I am going to be buying a lot of sticky tape. And maybe a stapler, just in case.

8. Apparently, it’s very ouchy to lose the surface of one’s tongue. OMG, I’m losing consciousness just knowing that tongues have surfaces. I hope that doesn’t affect my chances of a career with USAMRIID.

9. When I tweet an educational excerpt from the book:

some First Amendment enemy will tweet this in response:

But I won’t be silenced, Stacey, I won’t be. Because silence=death. And Ebola=death. So my silence=Ebola. I believe the math and science speak for themselves.

One year ago ...

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes August 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I have recently started using ‘That person is such a douchebag. His/Her biosafety level is Ebola’ to describe some of the more horrible people in my life. Or ‘She has a personality so toxic even Ebola won’t touch her’


Susan Weinstein August 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Think all missionaries need to be quarantined. Why stop with those in Africa? Perhaps big pharma companies will consider looking for a cure now that west is involved? Take units off of research on Viagra for women


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