Monday, October 6, 2014


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?


  1. I hadn't thought of the parallel between polio and Ebola, but it is apt. My mother made sure my sister and I were in the front lines of receiving the polio vaccine. My uncle was badly handicapped by it - even after endless operations as a child. My mother also contracted it, but without visible damage other than probably shortened stature. Her best friend spent extensive time in an iron lung as an adult.
    Can't say I regret being far away in Massachusetts and on my international flight last week from Italy, the distance from Rome to Africa crossed my mind.

  2. I've not worried one whip about it. ...Yet.

  3. No, I'm not worried. It's an awful disease, but it is contracted through direct bodily fluids. Somehow it has captured the fear that many of us have about contagion, though. Maybe people will wash their hands more often! :-)

  4. If this is not a false flag and for real, it will certainly spread like fire. All those miles and miles and miles of plastic coffins stashed away in the country sides of various states that we see on YT suddenly make sense. If a quarantine is not regulated, I would think the wise would limit their own activities until the full truth is disclosed.

  5. Regarding Ebola, I'm not worried for myself. It would be terrible if we did have an outbreak, but I don't believe in fearing things like that. It would take up way too much of my energy.

    My uncle and cousin, who lived in the house next to ours, both had polio. It affected their legs and their ability to walk. My cousin had one leg longer than the other and had a part of it cut off to make them more equal once he stopped growing. He was in a body cast for a long time, but it worked. I am so glad I was too young to fully understand the danger of polio that close by when it happened. I can only imagine my parents' fear.

    This is a long comment, but I wanted to say also that I think it is wonderful that you cancer survivors get together, and those vets too.

  6. I'm not worried about Ebola. Just yesterday I was googling around to see headlines from newspapers in 1918 to see what kind of fearful stuff was being printed about the Flu Pandemic back then. It's interesting to learn that somewhere between 3 and 5% of the of the world's population succumbed to that flu. Yet, I didn't see much in the way of screaming fearful headlines. I think about the polio epidemic as well. I had a doctor tell me many years ago that from the look of my spine that it was possible I had had a mild undetected case of polio. I am absolutely obsessive about washing my hands, and I NEVER fly. I am not afraid of Ebola, but if I were living in Africa I'd be scared out of my mind.

  7. Being informed is one thing but the constant and hysterical on the media adds to the irrational fears and paranoia. But then again I'm not going to Africa any time soon....

  8. I've been worried about Ebola for some time. In the past, people afflicted with this virus died before making it out of the jungle. Now, with modern air transportation, Ebola has come to America. If this virus, for which there is no cure, doesn't wipe out human civilization, another virus just might. I believe out government's response to this has been slow and inadequate. I hope a lot of people don't pay the price.

  9. So neat that you and your friends can get together for some fun/chat/good food, etc....

    Neat also about the Vietnam group's reunion.. It is neat to be with friends we have something in common with....

    Ebola? YES--I am worried. I realize that the media is making it worse.. OR --is it? Is our Govt. doing everything it can to protect us? I don't think so. Why not close some of the airports --like other countries have done???? BUT --even with that, people will go to another country's airport and get to America anyway they can. People know that our country can 'save' them. Why would they NOT want to be HERE? YES---it is scary.


  10. I am watching the news. It wouldn't take much for it to become a pandemic.

    Maybe it's because I'm older (66), but the idea doesn't scare me too much. It might be a humbling experience for us to see how powerless we really are. Like when Katrina hit. I was sure the USA could handle it. We couldn't, for whatever reasons.

  11. What a nice meeting of your group and the vet group sweet Patti. That sounded like a very interesting conversation between the groups. I am happy for you that you get to have those nice get-togethers and talk sessions with your friends.

    I try really hard to not let things worry me that I can do nothing about. So I have not given too much thought to the Ebola situation. I have to admit though that thoughts have sneaked in now and then since I have family in the Dallas area.

    As for flying I have not been on a plane since the 70's and have no plans to ever get on another one.

    Hugs and nose kisses for you and yours from me and mine!!

  12. Marty,
    I am so sorry your family was so effected by Polio. It really was the terror of that time period. I know adults today who had it but knew of none at that time.

    Except for that one second, me neither, yet.

    Proper hand sanitation that the flu has drilled into us may help. We might be known as the clean hands generation.

    I do believe we do not know the whole story yet. Didn't know about any caskets, I will check that out.

    So sorry you also had close encounters with that dread disease. Like you, I was too young to think much about it.

    My goodness robin, so sorry to hear that you possibly had early polio. Thank goodness it was mild.
    The Spanish flu which killed so many people world wide should make us aware of what could happen if we get lax.

    Me too on putting that safari on hold for now.

    I do believe you have valid concerns. Sometimes I wonder just what they are holding back "for our own good."

    Someone who is not truthful and as Dr. Besser suggested, if they take aspirin before hand, it will disguise the fever. Thus this disease could easily come into our country with current restrictions.

    Linda M.
    I too am unconcerned for myself due to age but I do worry about younger family members. There are so many things to watch for these days, it is hard to have all bases covered.

    Me too on flying. That was a no no for me long before any diseases.
    It would be a bit concerning to have family in that area. Let's hope this is contained quickly.

  13. I am convinced that the 24/7 "news" reporting has given far too much emphasis on Ebola than it deserves and created a panic when there is no need for one.

  14. I don't spend much time worrying about what if's. Sometimes the media does the public a disservice by fanning the flames of panic. I'll start to pay more attention if there is systematic spread. I'm far more likely to die of a heart attack.

  15. Sorry about this, but I just couldn't let Manzanita's comment go. The so-called "plastic coffins" were nothing more than protective shells that coffins can be placed in, when they are buried in areas that have a lot of land water in them.

    They have nothing to do with Fema or the U.S. Government, and were around long before Obama was elected.

    I just can't stand it when people try to perpetuate these erroneous rumors. These things are just too easy to debunk - Google it and see for yourselves.

  16. We live in Dallas and of course we are concerned, but *worried* no. To be honest, it doesn't do any good to *worry* about something like this. I chose to believe that we can handle it... and if we can't, then probably no one can. And if it makes people more conscious of hand-washing, etc. than more the better.

  17. I saw a photo of a young girl crying this week because she just lost her mother to Ebola. So sad. I also realized I would be scared of the child for fear of any germs she might carry. Hoping she will be okay.

  18. I'm not concerned about Ebola here in Northern Wisconsin, but it has crossed my mind when we snowbird to Arizona, we need to take extra caution about hand washing etc.

  19. Sounds like a fun time with your friends! My hubby is a Vietnam veteran and they are nice guys! :)
    The Ebola news hasn't scared me over much as yet, but if it gets out of hand it certainly will. I'm not sure we are doing enough to keep it out of our country.

  20. Dear ARkansas Patti, I just read the this morning Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man in the Dallas hospital, died of Ebola. Here's the article in the New York Times:

    I haven't thought much about being safe or not. I'm trusting in what I'm being told on the PBS Newshour. That the US doctors and hospitals have all received fliers/brochures about the symptoms and signs of Ebola.

    I'm sending all my thought-filled energy to those who live in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierre Leone. Peace.

  21. What an honor to meet them and as much for them to meet y'all.
    I'm closer to Dallas than you, and folks travel right through our area on the interstate from Dallas, so it's not out of the realm of reality to think that someone could spread it here. So far, I haven't really felt worried about it.

  22. NCMountainwoman,
    We can only hope you are right.

    I am pretty sure natural causes will get me also, still for the sake of my younger family members, I would like to see more being done about hospital security.

    I did Google it. Just not sure why there are so many of them.

    I guess the orphans are having a terrible time. No one wants to be near them. That is terribly sad.

    That should always be our first line of defense for many reasons.

    The fellows were delightful and we really enjoyed meeting them.

    I did just read about that. I wonder if they had not sent him home at first would his outcome have been much better.
    Yes, those countries are in such a huge amount of misery. They deserve our thoughts, prayers and aid.

    We really did get mutual pleasure from the meeting. It was fun and heartwarming.
    Hopefully we won't have to fear our border with Texas.

  23. Not a bit. I'm more worried about cardiovascular disease and cancer.

  24. I'm not sure what I think anymore! I guess I'm less worried about Ebola than I am about flying. Have you seen that they arrested people in London who were planning on publicly beheading folks as they were walking about the city?

    It's a different and much scarier world than the one we grew up in...


  25. For the most part my feelings about this whole thing align with this fellow's:

  26. Barry,
    With your clean living and exercise, you will probably be spared those.

    Beheading is such a barbaric action and out of our realm of understanding. Yes this is a scary world.

    Thanks for the link. I did go and read. He makes some scary points. Kind of makes me glad I am old and just wish everyone I cared about was too.

  27. We are flying out to the States in a couple of weeks and I am a little nervous about it actually. Not so much being in the States just being in a plane with someone who could possibly have the disease.

  28. My daughter and her husband just flew into JFK from France last Thursday. I have to admit that I breathed a bit easier when they were safely on U.S. soil.