I was meeting the girls for lunch and per-usual, we were fairly boisterous with our giggles and constant chatter. We do have fun.
Two tables over was a group of about 14 people about our age, equal parts men and women. Some of the men were wearing baseball caps that looked like they had a military symbol on them. We figured they were enjoying some sort of reunion.
This restaurant never makes money on us as we order light and stay really long but we do tip well and they tolerate us. About the same time, our two groups broke to leave. As normal, we were standing in our group out in the parking lot to finish up talking. Yes we are women,---we do talk.
The military group passed us and one of the girls asked what was written on their caps. Turns out they had all served in Vietnam on a Navy tanker and they regularly had reunions. The wives of the fellows continued walking on to their cars but the fellows stayed to explain their unit and what they did in the war.
It was really interesting and we were surprised how far the men had traveled for this get together. Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas were represented. A young couple also joined us listening to their tales. All of us took the time to thank them for their service. I thought how nice and informed people are today. When these boys returned from Vietnam, it was not thanks they got.
One fellow asked what our group was and when we said we were a cancer support group, they got momentarily solemn. As a group they congratulated us on our happy, positive natures and survival. They then took turns giving us all congratulatory hugs. The wives who had heard none of the exchange were leaning against their cars with resigned expressions.
One of our group who was originally from Texas asked the Texan who was in the process of hugging me, "What part of Texas are you from."
"Dallas." He answered proudly in my ear.
Just for a moment, I froze. Of course there was a negative possibility that he had any contact with that Ebola fellow but still, for an instant, I went rigid. I hope he didn't detect that.
I was suddenly aware of the extent this disease has terrified the American people. Just the mention of that city while having close contact with someone from that very large city caused an irrational, split second of fear in a normally rational person.
I grew up in the polio era but polio didn't frighten me. My parents were quite concerned while we kids had no thoughts outside of being annoyed. We were bummed we couldn't go to the swimming pools, fairs or circuses but it never occurred to us that it was a real threat. We knew of not one case of polio among our friends. I felt quite safe.
I thought I was in a similar mind set, if a bit more alert, about Ebola as the younger me had been and was rather surprised at my own reaction in that one quick second. I am back to being alert and staying informed but am not really concerned. That second passed. Still I was surprised it occurred at all.
Has this single case of Ebola that was diagnosed on our soil concerned you? Are you still as comfortable as you were before about flying? Are you convinced that this will be contained?