EBOLA: FLIGHT 1143 – A PASSENGER’S PERSPECTIVE

This month I am hosting a 31 days of horror.  The last few weeks we have been hearing a lot about Ebola and I can’t think of anything that scares me more at the moment.

Being a mom I am proactive about things that could eventually affect my daughter.  A few years ago it was the Bird Flu.

I’m not going to lie, I really am scared about Ebola getting out of hand here in the United States.  Although, nearly 10,000 have been infected elsewhere and my heart and prayers go out to West Africa, I wasn’t scared because it was so far away. Just to be clear being scared is different from being panicked. It is different because being afraid is a healthy act of survival.  We are afraid therefore we act. Fight or Flight. Survival of the fittest.  If we remain logical then our fear can spur us to create a plan and do what is right.  Our country needs to be afraid and we need to be highly proactive in preventing a large-scale outbreak.

Yesterday morning I came to work and read that the W.H.O was estimating the number of newly infected cases could rise to 10,000 per week in West Africa.  Those are SCARY numbers.

By the end of the day we all learned of the nurse that flew on Flight 1143 with symptoms and by the time I got home I opened Facebook only to find someone I had personally met a few times had been on that plane.

It really starts to sink in when you know of someone personally how something our society has been making jokes about is really deadly serious.  Even I wrote a Facebook status saying I was afraid to joke about Ebola or I would get Ebola.  Some of them did make me laugh… but I am no longer laughing.

55138825 I know panic and worry won’t help but I do think it is important to practice things that could decrease the risk of infection.  Be proactive by practicing better habits. For instance, I discussed certain habits with my daughter like using antibacterial hand sanitizer (hand sanitizer and bleach are the only two things that kill Ebola) and not touching her face.  We can use things like anti-bacterial wipes at the grocery store on carts, not picking our noses, or purposely sneezing like you are taking off for Mars.

I would like to share with you the Facebook status of Axl Goode, an acquaintance who was on Flight 1143.  I also included information he sent me via email.  I think he has some very interesting things to say that are very telling about how our country is equipped to handle an outbreak if one should occur on a large-scale.  I also worry because any one of those passengers could have gone home to children who then were sent to school the next day.  There are a million scenarios we could develop.  So in the meantime just be good citizens, keep up with the news (if you can weed through all the misinformation), and plan what you need to do individually to keep safe.  That really is all any of us can do!

Oh…and thank you Axl Goode for doing the right thing!!


 

EBOLA: FLIGHT 1143, A PASSENGER’S PERSPECTIVE

The incessant buzzing of my cell phone woke me, text after text pouring in.  Rolling over in bed, I saw that the messages were from my dad.  Our text conversation was as follows:

Dad – 2nd healthcare worker tests positive for Ebola…you know, the ones wearing hazmat suits.

Dad – 77 additional hospital workers quarantined in Dallas…boyfriend of nurse infecting showing symptoms.

Axl – That’s not cool.

Dad – Nope…

Axl – Wish I could get out of Dallas for a while.

Dad – Yep

Dad – If it starts spreading it will go everywhere.

Dad – What city did you fly from Monday evening

Dad – The nurse who has it was on a flight from Cleveland to Dallas Monday evening. Flight 1143.

Icy dread seeps through my entire body.  My hands start to shake.

Axl – Shut the fuck up.

Is he screwing with me?How could he know the flight I was on Monday?

Dad – Where did you fly from?

I’m now fully awake.  Climbing out of bed, I shrug off any last vestiges of tiredness and call my dad.  He answers immediately.

“You weren’t on that flight were you?” his voice strained.

“Dad, are you messing with me.  This isn’t funny.”

“I’m not playing with you.  I just read it in a CNN article.”

“Damn.  That was my flight.:

“1143?”

“Yes.”

“Shit.  The CDC is saying that the nurse was asymptomatic while on the airplane, but she went to the hospital shortly after getting off.  That’s pretty close.  I’m sending you the article.  You need to call the CDC.”

“Okay. Call me back.”

Ending the call with my father, I dialed Taylor’s number.  I had just woken to one of the worst possible nightmare scenarios I could imagine.

We had both spent the last week in Ohio at a conference for our publishing company, Ellora’s Cave.  We’re both romance novel cover models and authors.  I just released my novel Primal Desire last week and Taylor has released several novels over the past three years.

Upon arriving at the airport a week earlier we felt secure that there was a very low chance of contracting the Ebola virus.  After all, everyone had been quarantined right?

Taylor answered the phone.  He is nearly always cheerful.

“Yo what’s up?!”

“I have bad news.”

“What’s going on?”

“A nurse that was taking care of Thomas Eric Duncan was on our flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Ft Worth”

“No way!  Are you serious?”

“Yes. Flight 1143.”

“How could that happen?”

“I don’t know.  I was under the impression that all 77 people who had been taking care of patient zero had been quarantined”

“Damn. What the hell?”

“I know. I’m going to call the CDC and see what they want us to do, but I’d keep yourself quarantined.  Definitely don’t go to Houston today.  We’re going to have to take the next 3 weeks off work.”

“Shit. Okay. Let me call my family and tell them not to come over.”

After getting off the phone with Taylor I called the CDC.  They have a wait time of 81 minutes.  I opted for them to call me back.  I spent the next two hours in a panicked state, trying to piece together as much information as I could.  Reading article after article and seeing pictures of what happens to those who contract Ebola… I finally broke down.

I stepped away from my computer.  Tears were pouring down my face.  Just a few hours ago everything seemed fine.  Now I’m facing a hard fact that I may start to develop symptoms in the next 1-20 days.  If that happens I stand a 10% – 50% chance of survival.  It’s a very hard truth to think that I may not e here in just a few weeks or less.

It’s not looking good for the passengers of Flight 1143.  Although I’m reading lots of reports that it can only be spread through bodily contact, there’s plenty of articles suggesting otherwise.  In fact, it could be so easy as the nurse, now identified as Amber Vinson, rubbing as sweaty palm across the top of a seat.  Walking through the narrow isle I could have placed my hand on that same seat as I make my way through the plane.  Sitting down, I might have rubbed my sleepy eyes. BAM – I could have just contracted Ebola.

That’s the problem with this.  No one knows how bad it is precisely, and it’s insanely scary.  The CDC is staunchly maintaining their stance that it can only be transferred through bodily fluids and those in close contact with someone showing symptoms.  There are other reports suggesting it could be spread through saliva droplets in the air within a 3 foot span.

So who do I trust?  The CDC that said Amber Vinson was asymptomatic boarding the airplane?

A little later in the day I’m hearing something different.  Tom Frieden of the CDC said, the nurse “had a slight fever of 99.5 degrees when she boarded Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, but it did not register at the 100.4 degree ‘fever threshold’ that would have flagged her for an Ebola test,” according to the Washington Examiner.

This isn’t helping my trust.  What I want to know is why the CDC cleared that nurse to fly commercially? It’s absolutely ludicrous.

Now the CDC is trying to placate the situation. Frieden has since stated that “other exposed healthcare workers will now be banned from taking public transportation until they clear the virus’ incubation period.”

Seriously? Are joking with me? NOW? Why weren’t they banned in the first place? This virus is terrible. Reading on how it affects the body and slowly tears it apart gives me nightmares.  Now I just found out that, because of the CDC’s ignorance, my friend and I have been exposed to it!!

So what a to do about it? Well the CDC finally called me back and took down my information and – that’s it. They said they’d be in contact.  I was given no extra information.

That’s comforting. NOT. It’s not the CDC’s responsibility to handle everything though. I’m going to stick it out in a self-imposed quarantine the next 21 days. Why? Because I care about those around me and have a greater responsibility to the public.

I’ve been heralding messages all day from my family and friends attempting to assure them I’m okay.  It’s going to be hard.  Hopefully I haven’t contracted Ebola, and hopefully this will blow over like nothing happened.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pay my bills and everything will work out.  What’s not okay, is putting my friends and family in danger of myself.  That’s the most selfish thing I could do.  So here is my question to you – what would you do if you woke up and were told you had been exposed to one of the most deadly viruses on the planet?

if we want to ensure this doesn’t happen to more people, then I say we band together as a country and take responsibility.  I don’t want to scare people.  I don’t want to start a frenzy.  I want to be solution oriented.  I just want this to stop.  To do that, it’s going to take every single person doing their part.

At this point, my part is going to be isolating myself.  But ask yourself, what is your part?  I do NOT want you going through this!  I still haven’t been contacted further by the CDC and I’m not very confident of their abilities.

Whether its private organizations or the government, everyone that has come in contact with someone who has Ebola should be quarantined.  No questions. As a country this should be easy to raise enough money and find the manpower to provide for people who have possibly been infected.

And why is it important to do this? Because if it goes further the country as a whole won’t be able to support the number of infected.  At that point there will be no stopping it.


 

LATER AXL WROTE THIS:

Thank you for all the prayers and good wishes everyone.  My earlier post wasn’t meant to scare people, only to draw awareness to the situation.  I’m currently sitting in my apartment, completely fine.  The reason for the post,is hopefully help inspire everyone to want to do the right thing.  This hasn’t turned into a major problem for our country yet, however its severity is increasing by the hour.

With a filovirus such as Ebola, it’s spread is exponential.  (Here he gave an example which I did not replicate here)

See why this is such a problem?  This is why I’m taking it so seriously.  Yes, I’m freaking out some for myself but what I don’t want to see is this virus spread.  The best way to counter this virus is prevention.

I’m encouraging any other passengers to do the same as myself and Taylor Cole and quarantine yourself.  We don’t need to wait for the CDC to tell us anything.  We as human beings have the inalienable right to think for ourselves.  I for one want to choose to do what’s best for those I care about around me and also for the rest of the people in the world.

The actions and amazing talent of our health care individuals so far has been nothing short of heroic.  The W.H.O. is doing all they can to help contain this.  Let’s not forget, as citizens, our civil responsibility to ourselves and country.

I just felt like my last post was a little scarier than I intended and wanted to make a slight amendment.  My intentions are to inspire and to spur people to the right course of action rather than assessing blame on others.

 


 EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE WITH AXL

Axl communicated to me that the Dallas County Health Department has contacted him and he was told the following:

1) A no board order has been issued preventing him from getting on any flights or cruise ships.

2) It isn’t mandatory yet but they suggest he quarantines himself in his house. (which Axl has already done)

3) A nurse will come take his temperature once a day

4) Keep a medical journal.

5) Stay at least 3 feet away from anyone else in his residence. (Axl lives alone)

6) To stay isolated through November 3rd.


 

photo-1

 

 

My pen name is Axl Goode.  I’m a cover model and proud author for Ellor’s Cave Publishing.  I’m 26 years old and I’m scared I’m going to die. I love people and I love life.  If you would like to contact me, please do so via Axlgoode@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 


 Check out Ellora’s Cave by clicking on this picphoto

Also, check out my other Ellora’s Cave author Sara Bale while you are there!

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “EBOLA: FLIGHT 1143 – A PASSENGER’S PERSPECTIVE

  1. I do think we have something to worry about, and if it isn’t this germ that gets us, it will be the next, or the next. We live too close together, we travel too much. We rely on luck and a small medical community.

    Like

    • Agree. I’m a bit put out by all the “calm the fuck down about Ebola” posts. The medical professionals I’ve asked said we have something to worry about. Telling people not to worry and the bullying I am already seeing by those that aren’t worried is scary. Just be aware…. Be clean… That isn’t panic or drama it’s common sense.

      If one person told me I can get it in the air and another said close contact I’m gonna err on the side of air. The guy above was sitting three ft from the nurse!!! He has video of him scratching his face. I’d be scared too.

      Oh and the serum they used for the missionaries…it’s out… They are trying to build more but it’ll take months. So yea people need to just be aware.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t really too terribly worried until the last couple of days. I don’t think the CDC or our government are being completely transparent. I think that we as a nation are unprepared because we sit in our ivory tower and believe that it can never happen here. Well, it is happening and if people don’t get smart it will get much worse before it gets any better. Actually, I think that will happen anyway. I am with you in that being cautious and causing a panic are two totally different things. Ignorance is going to be what kills people.
    My husband came home from California a couple of weeks ago and brought the flu home. It’s make its run through our home. He is flying again this weekend and I practically begged him to be careful.
    I certainly hope your friend is going to be okay. I know he is frightened but I admire his courage. And I thank him for his courtesy. Please keep us updated on Axl and I’ll keep him in my prayers.

    Like

    • I’m not one to panic. I usually don’t worry unless I feel I need to protect my daughter. But now I am beginning to worry. I read they are ripping out the airline carpets and cleaning the plan. Are you fucking kidding me. We aren’t stupid. Leave it empty for a few days and problem solved. It’s a publicity stunt to prove they are being responsible. It’s the carriers (potential carriers) we should focus on. Also, this plane should be pulled from normal service and be designated as the Ebola carrier. No need to infect other planes. Just use this one to transport if necessary. Lol damn…I’m way over thinking but seriously someone in power needs to be thinking. Axl was right in front of the patient. Within 3 ft. His friend took a video of him tickling his nose and axl rubbed his face. Hopefully he is fine and it remains a silly video.

      Like

  3. Pingback: EBOLA: FLIGHT 1143 – A PASSENGER’S PERSPECTIVE | kimmiewrites

  4. As someone who lives in Africa, I will just say that there is no real threat to the developed world and not much to the Third World beyond the epidemic zone. If they were pulling out expats, then, people living outside of Africa might have some cause for concern, but even then, not much. They are not pulling out expats.

    To gain some perspective on Ebola, and Americans seem to be the most fearful, remember that while 480 people have died on average every month in the Third World epidemic zone over the past seven months there has been 2,500 Americans who die on average every month, and have done for decades, in the US, because of guns.

    Now, with five times more Americans dying every month from guns and this situation has existed for decades, why are so many people hysterical about Ebola when guns are a far, far greater threat?

    And the flu death rate is around 25,000 which is about 2,000 a month – far worse than Ebola and still less of a killer than guns.

    Iatrogenic – doctor or medical induced – is around 225,000 per year in the US which, at nearly 19,000 people a month is only beaten by cancer and heart attack deaths.

    Road accidents claim 32,000 lives every year in the US – around the same as gun deaths.

    The survival rate for Ebola in the Third World African countries with poor nutrition and non-existent sanitation and inferior medical hygiene and practices, is 30%. So, even in such compromising situations some 30% survive. In a modern, First World country where there is good sanitation and good medical practices and better nutrition, although many US diets leave a lot to be desire, one could double that figure if not more. So the survival rate in the developed world is likely to be 60-80% which means, working on 60% your monthly death rate might be around 100 people which is far, far, far less than death by gun, the flu or medical error – iatrogenic.

    The death rate is 70%, but remember, this is Third World where even hospitals are filthy and ill-equipped. Another problem is that the initial symptoms are similar to malaria and people are often given malarial drugs and sent home. The drugs no doubt compromise immune function even more and they are cared for by family. Even those who are in hospital are often cared for by family because they cannot afford to pay the bribe for care and food.

    Remember, many of these homes do not have running water. They do not have rubbish (trash) collection. They are often not much more than one or two rooms where everyone lives, eats, sleeps and dies.

    Ebola is low on the list of threats. This epidemic is largely confined to a part of Africa – not all of Africa – just a part. There are flights across Africa every hour, and if you think standards are poor in the US, trust me, they are even worse in Africa and anyone coming from the epidemic zone can get through with a bit of money changing hands.

    Even with this, there have been no reports of people beyond West Africa coming down with the disease.

    And when you look at a map of the epidemic area it has not travelled quickly or really that far in the seven of eight months since it appeared. Even the poor in Africa walk long distances, daily often, from village to village, across borders – so transmission at village level is very easy and villages connect through many parts of the continent.

    The most crucial factor in health is an optimally functioning immune system – good sleep, good diet, minimal or no medication and minimal or no vaccines and stay away from antibiotics unless you are in a life or death situation because they destroy immune function more than anything and immune function is what keeps you well and gets you well.

    I would also not watch the news or pick up a newspaper until this is over. Negative programming, and the US media is the world’s absolute worst, is powerful.

    I live on a continent where people suffer from all sorts of diseases, and where medical care is minimal and inferior – and they don’t drop dead in the street. The human condition is more robust than we think, and the effects of fear are a greater risk to health than Ebola will ever be.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/09/ebola-highly-contagious-virus-myths-outbreak-epidemic

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ty for this. I read every word. And…
      I agree on every point. I think what we really get concerned with is the unknown and right now Ebola IS the unknown. We understand guns, the flu, heart disease etc and even still the survival rate for the flu is good considering all of those infected by it each year.

      I think though its good practice for the medical community, media, government and society ti worry somewhat because the potential threat is always there for viruses such as these to become something worthy of hysteria and getting too complacent could be a mistake. We,ve had Evola here before and we will have again.

      I would do the same tging these two guys did though. Im not an expert so isolating myself would be the responsible thing to do. It doesnt hurt to isolate unless you lose income but in this case they also kept others from worry.

      I think it’s done here but it still bothers me it is killing so many in west africa. And I. recommend avoiding news stories as well… Most are ridiculous anyway.

      Ty so much for commenting.

      Like

      • Ebola first appeared nearly forty years ago. There have been regular outbreaks over that time. It has not mutated or changed. It is a disease which burns out quickly for the simple reason that either infection is prevented by adequate medical and protective practices and where it is not, as in Africa, people die quickly and with them the disease dies.

        Since you are only at threat caring for someone with the disease there is no need to isolate. In the first world, the best place is in an isolation ward in a hospital to prevent family members being infected.

        And in truth, it is not killing so many in Africa compared to other things. The big killer in Africa is HIV/Aids, also passed on through body fluids. This disease kills more than malaria does – probably around 150,000 people a month!

        Malaria kills about about 1.2million people every year – a child they say every 60 seconds – some 100,000 people a month! Now, admittedly malaria is not a threat in First World countries but Americans before Ebola seemed not to be bothered travelling in Africa. And yes, you can still get malaria taking medication which is why those who live in such places don’t take it because it masks the symptoms and it is more dangerous because you do not know you have the disease.

        Optimal health and immune function is what keeps and makes us well. Avoiding antibiotics is crucial, eating well, good sleep, limiting chemicals, preservatives, additives in food. Limiting vaccines and medication – all contribute to good health. The rest is in the hands of fate. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Your last paragraph is the bottom line. And in scenarios such as Ebola i still think lack of knowledge and lack of respectable newsworthy sources are the biggest reasons for fear. And in the absence of knowledge we must demonstrate calm resolve to do what we feel is in our best interest. I think that is what my friends did especially knowing they sat in the seat right in front of her. Do i think they will get sick? No. Do i think she was careful? Probably. Do i know anything for sure? No.
          Dosregarding statistics related to other deaths and disregarding Ebola I think it’s important to get an idea of how we as a society are going to react to such fears and i for one learned a lot.

          Like

          • Yes, your last point is the salient one. All of life is an opportunity to learn. But we are also fortunate in this day and age that we can do the research, avoiding the sensationalist material, and become informed ourselves.

            And having spent a long time in the US, I know how truly awful most media is with Fox being an absolute shocker. It would be funny if it were not so dangerous.

            Like

            • You know the video that is going around with Shep so and so? When he said I PROMISE there is nothing to fear I kind of snickered. Why? Not because he was talking about Ebola and we shouldn’t fear but because of his choice of words and the way he said it.

              Because I should take his journalistic word over all the other journalistic words???

              Underneath all the sensationalism is truth and it is up to all of us to care enough to look for it.

              Seriously enjoyed the conversation with you!

              Like

              • I don’t know who Shep is. I am Australian but live in Africa so not up with the latest US journalists although I have spent a lot of time in your country. Yes, find the truth or at least something which makes sense. Nice to chat.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Ah, well, I have seen Fox briefly while in the US – funny if not so dangerous. It makes me shake my head like the evangelist rallies. Interestingly the same sorts of rallies are popular in Africa but then the American evangelists are big here building lots of churches for God and not doing much for people.

                Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s