No Wonder You're Catching Hell, Unprotected Clipboard Guy.
Dear Unprotected Clipboard Guy,
How are you feeling today? Well, we hope.
You haven't been, say, experiencing any signs of fever, headache, body aches, cough, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea in the past couple of days have you?
Well, after being the lone member of the team charged with transporting Dallas Ebola patient Amber Vinson to Atlanta that wasn't wearing protective gear, we sure hope so.
Of course, if we were you, we'd be extremely careful over these next, oh, 21 days or so.
It's not that we're necessarily against your freewheeling ways. It's just that, as the rest of the country has been shitting its collective pants for weeks in fear that they'll catch Ebola because they may have previously been in the same store where a not-that-close friend of a woman who tried on a dress that was previously tried on by someone who previously rode on a plane with a passenger who lived down the street from someone who may or may not have an unconfirmed case of Ebola, there you were earlier this week, giving zero fucks.
Are you sure that was a good idea, man? I mean, we realize that we're all being a little irrational and overly paranoid at the moment, but damn if the media doesn't have us convinced at the moment that we're all about to die.
Look: We know Ebola is a hell of a lot harder to catch than most people tend to believe. But that doesn't mean you had to throw gasoline on the panic fire by walking around in plainclothes with your clipboard like it's seriously no big deal — especially while literally every single other person around you felt the need to protect themselves in hazmat suits.
Couldn't you have just thrown one on for show? It certainly would have made all of us idiots watching in fear at home feel a hell of a lot better. I mean, it's not even like hazmat suits are all that hard to come by these days; tons of even bigger asshats than yourself are even buying the things just to use as tasteless Halloween costumes.
Sure, we heard what your supervisors at Phoenix Air, the company that oversaw the patient's transport, said. We saw your company vice president Randy Davis telling NBC News that part of your airline company's “protocol is to have one person not in a bio-Hazard suit,” because, apparently the suit might block a field of vision and hearing.
But are you even fucking serious with that shit? Do you mean to have us believe that it'll be easier to treat you once you catch Ebola than it would be to devise an easier-to-see-out-of hazmat suit? We heard that the original Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan racked up medical charges in excess of $1,000 per hour, so we doubt that this was the cheaper route, either.
Davis doesn't seem concerned, for his part. He told the media that you were trained to keep a safe distance from patients. But we'll be damned if some of those photos we saw didn't show you helping clean up some of the biohazardous materials from the tarmac and then boarding the plane behind Vinson.
So, again, we ask: Why are you being so publicly reckless around such a terrible and highly-publicized disease? Have you already forgotten about the last time Vinson was on a plane? Yeah? OK, we'll remind you: There are now people in quarantine just because they happened to sit near her on that flight. And, unlike you, those people didn't know that she was in the early stages of the disease. They also didn't cavalierly help clean up potentially contaminated items.
Even those charged with taking care of Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog Bentley aren't being so careless as you. Despite the fact that the dog isn't currently showing any signs or symptoms of the disease — and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement that said, “at this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals” — those considerate individuals are still wearing hazmat uniforms when taking care of him. And he's a dog!
That's because, unlike you, they care what people think.
Which isn't to be discounted. In this time of heightened fear and growing hysteria, the illusion of safety and the comfort that it brings is sometimes just as important our actual welfare itself.
So keep that in mind next time, OK?
Cory Graves and the rest of the Central Track staff.