Boy, it’s been a long time since we’ve done one of these. Last year, we examined what you could do during the government shutdown (can not: go to space, enjoy national zoos; can: sneak into the Liberty Bell). But that’s long over, and a new threat’s a-looming: Ebola. So if you find yourself having been on the same airplane, hospital wing, or just to be safe, let’s just say continent or Earth as a person with Ebola, you may have some questions. That’s where we come in.
Last time, we talked about space. Can I go to space if I’ve been exposed to Ebola?
YES. Please, please go to space. Enjoy the earth from afar for … however long your incubation period is, then come back. When reentering the atmosphere, exit through some kind of a small pod. Allow your space craft to disintegrate as it re-enters the atmosphere. We can buy others. Then go to a large volcano, and throw your space suit in there. We will leave some disinfectant wash and a fresh change of clothes for you. Then roll your space pod into the volcano and come back and join us, buddy! Welcome home.
Okay, but during the government shutdown, when space was closed, you suggested maybe a really high airplane as an alternative. How about it: can I go up in a really high airplane?
Oh, no. No, no, no. No airplanes. Please. Speaking as a human, the concept of flying is terrifying enough. You are not supposed to sit in rows next to strangers, making small talk, watching 30 Rock episodes (still, somehow), and drinking plastic tumblers of booze as you soar above the clouds. The gods have struck humans down for less. But throw an infectious disease into the mix and it’s almost too much to bear. Nobody wants to breathe your Ebola air.
So, no. No airplanes if you’ve been hanging around Ebola and feel a bit feverish. No coughing your Ebola spittle into those scratchy airplane horse blankets. No pooping your Ebola poop in those miniature airplane toilets. And for goodness sake, do not take an airplane to go out of state to try on wedding dresses. Your state has wedding dresses. I guarantee it.
Awesome, so I can try on wedding dresses with my Ebola, as long as I stay in my own state?
Good Christ. NO. Trying on clothes is gross already, all that fabric that’s been on someone’s possibly dirty, possibly sweaty skin; not to mention deciding whether you look good enough in whatever you’re wearing to pay money to continue looking that way – the real reason I rarely try on clothes. But when your sweat, saliva, and latent self-esteem issues get on a dress that you don’t even buy, all you’re doing is leaving it in the dress shop to ruin someone else’s special day. And I will not have it.
Well, the thing is, my wedding is really soon…
You have to cancel that shit. Postpone it, whatever. I don’t watch Game Of Thrones, but I was on the internet after the Red Wedding episode happened. You don’t want that sort of scenario marring your big event. Do you want all your guests to get killed? Or, if not killed, get really bad diarrhea? Put off those nuptials until you can guarantee that they won’t be referred to for time and all eternity as The Brown Wedding.
So I should just keep to myself, lay low, follow CDC recommendations….
Basically, yeah. But whatever CDC says to do, go one step beyond it. Pretend you’re a nerdy kid gunning for extra credit. CDC says you can fly? Maybe don’t, for a while. CDC says you can hang around regular people (no offense, you know what I mean Ebola People)? How about you text them for a while instead? Take up a craft. Now’s a good time to get into knitting! But please don’t donate your handcrafted woolens to cold children or lonely soldiers or basically any charity. Use them as kindling, or something. That’s some smallpox blanket business there.
I’m trying to stay home and watch TV but TV has me really worried about Ebola!
Yes. 24-hour news stations are exploiting disease paranoia for ratings. However, you’re a lot more likely to die in a car accident (buckle up!), or even regular ol’ pneumonia and flu (get those flu shots!), but those don’t have a cool name or a Patient Zero.
You may want to lay off of the scare-mongering news magazines until you’re over your Ebola.
But how can I avoid it?
It’s fall premiere season! The BEST time of the year to be quarantined with an infectious disease. You aren’t missing any outdoor summer fun, and you haven’t run into mid-season reruns. Lucky you! Except for the Ebola part.
Or how about this. Get Netflix. I’m serious about this. Gilmore Girls is on it. You can watch Abandoned, which is this National Geographic show about cities and buildings that are neglected and falling into decay, like all of our cities will be if you get out there and spread your Ebola. It’s pretty cool. Cosmos is up now. There are lots of romcoms, like Sleepless in Seattle and Annie Hall.
So here’s my deal. I really mean it. If you have documentation that you have Ebola, and can prove that you have a flight scheduled in the next 20 days, I will personally mail you the seven dollars – eight, maybe – so you can get Netflix for a month. Stay home, avoid the news, and keep your Ebola to yourself.
That’s perfect, because I already have streaming Netflix but I’ve been meaning to upgrade to disks!
Easy, killer. You are NOT going to send your Ebola disks flinging around from sea to shining sea. This offer is only for people who have Ebola, have a flight planned, and do not have Netflix already. In fact, if you DO have disk delivery, and you have Ebola, and you have a flight planned, I will pay you a dollar to cancel your disk service for a month.
If you have a disk at home already, just tell Netflix you never got it. For real. It works every time.