Men are simple creatures.
What man hasn’t played Russian Roulette at least once in his life for the sake of love or lust? Well, hopefully very few of us have actually put a bullet in a revolver, spun the chamber, put the gun to our head and pulled the trigger. Yet we’ve all done things to impress a lover that are so irrational and have such unnecessary downside, that in the absence of pheromones we’d never dream of doing them.
I’ve been riveted by the reckless selfishness of Kaci Hickox which has been playing out in the media. Ms. Hickox is the nurse who returned to the U.S. from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and is now flaunting her unwillingness to be quarantined during what we believe to be the virus’ incubation period. I’ve also been riveted by the plight of her boyfriend Ted Wilbur, who despite all logic and any instinct for self preservation, has been cavorting around the state of Maine with Ms. Hickox.
I genuinely feel badly for Mr. Wilbur, who has found himself with a terrible dilemma. On the one hand he wants to be supportive of his girlfriend. From what one reads on the news Ms. Hickox is very strong willed (read: nuts). She’s likely being very vocal with Mr. Wilbur that if he loves her he needs support her as she experiences her fifteen minutes of fame as the potential Typhoid Mary of the 21st century. She’s probably telling him that if he’s not at her side then he, like the rest of the world, must be against her and doesn’t deserve her.
On the other hand, Mr. Wilbur knows that his girlfriend might have EBOLA!! Not a cold. Not the flu. Not even chicken pox. EBOLA!! He knows that if she ends up having the virus, since he’s in close contact with her (read into that what you will), he is very likely to contract it himself. So what’s a lover to do?
Ms. Hickox went to Africa to treat Ebola patients, which signals that she must have some general empathy for humanity as a whole. One would have hoped that she would also have had some concern for the emotional and physical well being of the man she apparently loves. After all the quarantine is 21 days, not 21 years.
But alas, it didn’t go down that way for Mr. Wilbur and that’s where the pheromones kick in. So he's convinced himself that it’ll probably be okay, that Ms. Hickox probably doesn’t have Ebola, that if she has Ebola he probably won’t get it from her, and that even if he does, not everyone dies from it.
I watch Mr. Wilbur put the bullet in the chamber and spin it, and as he points the gun at his own head I marvel again at the notion that love, and lust, are blind and illogical.
In this case, hopefully it's Ebola free as well.