Friday, October 31, 2014


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). Shes 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 thats 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.


  1. While I usually agree with you all the way, on this one, not so much. This is the great misunderstanding of Ebola. You are not contagious until you exhibit symptoms, which Kaci has not. And she has tested negative thus far. In fact, if you listen to the doctors talk, a casual encounter with an infected person does not even necessarily result in getting sick. None of those who shared space with Thomas Eric Duncan have gotten sick. And in fact, it is actually the corpses of those who died of Ebola that are THE most contagious of all. Where you and I do agree is that Kaci's exhibited generally poor judgment regarding how to deal with this matter. Even though I think she is right, I do not think she has been smart or judicious in managing the public perception of the situation. There are many greater things we have to fear in this country than an Ebola outbreak -- many. I wish more time and energy were spent on the epidemic of school shootings that on whether or not an asymptomic nurse took a bike ride or ordered a pizza. IMHO. But, as always, Norm, your piece is well-written and thought-provoking. That's always an important accomplishment in any piece of writing, whether or not I agree with the premise.

    1. Thanks for reading and for commenting Barbara. My goal is always to encourage discourse on social issues. We can disagree and I’m still happy. I will say that what most infectious disease doctors do agree on is that our knowledge of Ebola, including how it spreads, when it spreads, how the virus may nutate, etc is evolving. It seems to me that with the high incidence of death so far we should err on the ice of caution and of keeping the public from going into a mass panic. The notion that Kaci, a health care worker herself, seems tone deaf at best to those issues boggles my mind. And if you want to hear me rant on school shootings, there are not one but two of them in my “Letters to Mackenzie” blog. Keep reading, keep commenting, and keep thinking! xo

  2. Adam & Eve. Cavalry’s Cross. Romeo & Juliet. Love has been real since the creation of humans, and thrives in fiction too.

    Much ado, to much at that for the decisions made, wise or other wise by Wilber & Kaci. They have not put a bullet into a revolver, but have made a decision of love, they may one day pledge if they are to be duly wed; “Until death do us part”. Some in Africa have already kept this vow and were joined by children and other family members. I can understand many of us do not want to share in their fate, no to rush, true.

    The news I sorely wait for is denied and blocked by all of MSM, with these few words; “details of his treatment is unkown”; Why? Who taught them to repeat after me? Does it involve perhaps protecting an interest to patent a treatment. Does not the CDC already own the patent on all blood contaminated in human bodies Worldwide by Ebola? Is that not enough of selfish interest in the face of dying souls, now threatening to be a Global event, if evil doers have their way.

    Thanks to the alternative (truth) press, there is information published more than once by PRWire and African press of a nutrient, Nano Silver 10 PPM, being sanctioned as the only remedy to be used in Sierra Leone, by that nations President. FDA & FTC, using some nasty tactics, for a short time blocked this nutrient from reaching citizens, who are now recovering from its use.

    Just visit Twitter #Ebola, #EbolainNYC, #SilverSol10ppm, and you will be amazed of truths that are being posted there, not in abundance yet-- because many even there are confused by lies and half/truths at best. As Dick Cheney might say; "The worst is yet to come"! Has he been wrong so far, looking into the crystal ball of his mind?

  3. Norm: Great piece. Speaking as a nurse, my problem is also that what she is doing does not bode well for the nursing profession. If she was using this to calmly and politely teach the public something of which she was sure, or if she had evidence that she could cite, which to date the CDC does not even have an abundance of, I might be supportive of what she is doing. What's interesting is that even the nurses whom I talk to are split on the subject. Some feel that the hospital she works for should not allow her back to work, others support her totally. My take is that there is still a lot we don't know, and in the midst of what could become if it hasn't already a nationwide panic,, her actions certainly do not make sense. I hope that she and her boyfriend come through unscathed and I hope the same can be said of the people the two of them come into contact with However, I'm not sure we will know for sure unless they are keeping track of every person they are in contact with. Thanks for always writing thought provoking pieces.

    1. thanks Viv. Very eloquent response. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Very well-stated. I enjoyed your thoughts and agree with everything written here. In this overnight news environment I simply think this all happened too fast for Mr. Wilbur. He and his girlfriend were probably having rational, responsible conversations about her situation and their proper course of action when, boom! He's in over his head and forced to jump on the train or be left behind. If he had hopes for a long-term relationship he can't afford to not be on board. It would haunt him the rest of their lives. Nobody needs a wife with that type of ammunition and leverage. On the other hand its unlikely he was prepared to leave her or make an objection to her choice in a confident way once she charged headlong into her decision. She seems to have made a leap of faith here without regard for her boyfriend. In that moment of his indecision it appears he has allowed himself to be towed along for the ride. He will come to his senses when the attention surrounding them recedes. I think Kaci Hickox's attitude toward her quarantine was selfish, and her lack of consideration for her boyfriend seems to be selfish as well. As I have said before my advice to him would be, GET. OUT. NOW. But as you've pointed out, once you introduce hormones into the equation, you might as well just say a prayer and spin the chamber.

  5. Let me just state this... I had to go to the ER the other day. Every single nurse and doctor wore protective gloves and surgical masks. With that being said, I asked, "Well, thank God we know how ebola is contracted."

    One nurse looked at me and said, "Really? DO WE? DO WE?"

    The doctors nodded in agreement with her.

    If you are going by mainstream media, then fine. Take your chances, but over 25% of the healthcare workers over in the hospital nearby where I live have quit.

    What does that say? Fear? Or does it say, we are part of the society who are being kept in the dark in fear of mass hysteria?