Good morning, American citizens. Let me introduce myself: I’m the Ebola virus.
PLEASE! Calm down, calm down and please allow me a few words. I would really like to get a few things off my chest. Is that okay? Thank you. And please, please, forgive me, as I’m not much of a public speaker.
I’m sure you heard of me by now. I’ve been on the news night and day, night and day. Ever since I came over here aboard two Americans, it has been nonstop and a whole new kind of stress that I’m not exactly used to back in West Africa… Excuse me, sir? Sir?! I’d appreciate it if you didn’t gown up so loudly while I’m addressing everyone…
The media has focused so much on the American patients and no one has really asked me for my side of the story, Ebola’s side.
But that’s probably my fault. See, I’m shy, very shy compared to other deadly infections… What’s that? Oh, I’m sorry, I’ll speak up; it’s tough to enuciate through this thick glass barrier… I’m shy compared to other virulent infections. I’m not as bold as smallpox and I’m not as contagious as HIV. I’m like the common cold; I just want to go about my business, albeit lethal business, and move on.
But I’m realizing I’m having a hard time with all this scrutiny and it’s getting to me, really getting to me. I’m really uncomfortable with all this attention I’m getting. I even feel a little homesick. I feel so alone.
I didn’t ask to come to America. I liked things at home, the limited news coverage and resources and lack of clean water. I had a nice routine going, you know? I thrived in it. Sleep in, infect a few people, go to bed. I felt well-traveled between Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. But here? America’s so far from home. I’m not used to things here in the States. It’s really hard. I can’t get into any kind of virulent rhythm… What’s that? Yes, there are extra gloves in the back …
The healthcare infrastructure here is so intimidating; all the bright lights, precautions, special isolation units, experimental drugs, highly-trained healthcare providers, and the CDC. How am I supposed to cause a pandemic like I did in Liberia?
And as if It’s not hard enough with all these medical barriers, add on the lights and cameras. I get nervous and sweaty just thinking about it. I mean, CNN, NBC, FOX are always talking about me behind my back… Yeah, you, sir. Do you mind turning the flash off on your camera? It’s a bit distracting, thank you… It’s a big adjustment, always hearing your name on TV and being portrayed in such a heartless manner, granted it’s mostly true. It makes me sad and hurts my feelings.
Everyone asks how the patients are doing. Why doesn’t anyone ask, Hey, how’s Ebola doing? How’s Ebola holding up? If anyone asked, they’d realize Ebola is struggling, looking for a friend… Ma’am? Ma’am! Sorry, I don’t mean to shout but do you mind washing your hands a little later, I’m in the middle of something here…
Look, I’m no different than the average blue-collared worker. I want to do my job and do my job well, earn a paycheck, and provide for my family. Is it my fault that my job requires causing multiorgan failure and profuse bleeding often leading to death?
But the truth is I feel like I can’t perform, that I’m under a lot of pressure here. Those Emory patients have all of America cheering them on. Who’s rooting for me? No one, maybe except for West Nile and smallpox… Ladies and gentleman, please, PLEASE stop booing for a moment and let me finish… It’s not easy trying to maintain a fatality rate of at least 80% with all of the world viewing you as a horrible monster. Imagine being in my toxic shoes. Doesn’t sound peachy, right?
I sincerely hope with some education this hysteria here in America will die down and it can be back to fatal business as usual. Thank you for your time, I truly appreciate it. I will now take questions… If you don’t mind, please speak loud and clear through your masks so I can hear you over the ventilators.