"If I dies so be it."
At the U.S. border, when they scan your passport, they look at you and ask you to step back a little and follow them. Down past all the other kiosks, into a room where everyone except the high-ranking personnel is wearing a facemask and gloves. One of the border patrol agents tells you the masks are just for the brass on the first day of the screening.
They take your temperature. You sit with everyone else from your flight coming from Liberia who say no, no, no, no to all of the questions about their proximity to the virus.
You answer yes to question three about having been in a hospital or lab. Questioning stops, papers are shuffled. You are taken into another room. They take your temperature again. They call the state of New York, let them know you are here. They take all your contact info, want to know your travel plans. This is all reassuring. Good to see they are tracking this. It's not hard to contain if you monitor your health.
A woman calls me every morning to ask my temperature reading. Am I traveling? It would be better if I didn't travel for the moment. If I got a fever, I would call this woman, get my blood tested and would be quarantined till the results came back. It's that simple. If I had Ebola, I would be sent somewhere for treatment. I don't have Ebola because I did nothing to contract it. You don't hear a lot of stories about third-hand transmission—it might be happening, but mostly it is high risk contacts contracting Ebola.
Being back in Baltimore, the distance from people here—family, friends and professional colleagues—has been strange. Everyone says not to take it personally: all media interviews by Skype, uninvited from a film festival, and my yoga shala asked me to not come back until the 21 days passed, though offered free online classes.
"We just want a zero-risk environment."
That is the unicorn that make this whole thing hard to stomach: "The Zero-Risk Environment"