So, last week while I was traveling, I went through 5 different airports, some of them twice (on way to and from Ottawa, not the same exact route going and coming, if you wonder how that math works). Before leaving, I checked all the appropriate sites to be aware of how Ebola is transmitted, as if we hadn’t heard it all already. Based on the news mania about Ebola, I was expecting to see people decked out in surgical gloves or masks. I even took throwaway surgical gloves that we had left over from some extreme cleaning we did last year, just in case.
What I observed really surprised me, to be honest. Not a single person was wearing protective gear. No passengers, no crew, no cashiers, no hotel desk staff, etc. It led me to reflect on 2 things:
1. (This falls under the heading of “duh, of course!”) People in North America are extremely lucky to live in places where this disease has not been a constant daily threat for the last few months. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to live in Liberia or Sierra Leone and know that you could catch it at any time? It must be terrifying.
2. People were just going about their business because they either had to or wanted to. Period. That’s what we do as humans. We adapt and survive. Why did it surprise me and cause reflection? Perhaps I had given in to the mania of worrying about illness. Actually, I was quite proud that the kind of behavior I had imagined had not prevailed in public. It probably will, if the disease spreads throughout the US, and I will have spoken too soon, but for the moment, I’m impressed.
Posting from my phone, so apologies for any grammatical or typing weirdness.