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Having a really hard time getting anything done because I can’t stop scouring the news for Ebola updates. Must stop. These stories say the same thing, mostly trying to mitigate panic. If you never read Richard Preston’s astounding and terrifying book The Hot Zone, now is the time. This book kept me up at night and I read it a decade ago when there weren’t any outbreaks. Now it’s time for a re-read, but it looks like the last person I lent it to decided to keep it.

There’s a special place in Reader Hell for friends who don’t return books. See you there?

hot zone

Some people seem to be panicking about the fact that for the first time patients known to be infected with the disease are about to enter the US. I’m nervous, too, but maybe it’s possible I’ve read and watched too many plague horrors.

These people will be quarantined and should get the best treatment available, though there is no cure, but it’s really hard not to picture a worse-case-scenario should one mistake happen. Apparently the strand spreading over West Africa right now is the deadliest one. I’m struggling to understand the wisdom of flying infected people to other parts of the world rather than bringing treatment to them. At the same time, if the infected were my loved ones I’d want them here, too.

My heart is with West Africans and all of the healthcare workers out there. My thoughts are selfishly circling myself, my family, the fact that I live in a city with international airports and live with a man unfazed by germs. He hugs the subway poll. I also caught him leaning his face against a subway window. He’s almost as bad as my niece, who actually licked the top of the wall around the ice skating rink at Bryant Park last winter, the ledge touched by hundreds, maybe thousands of scummy hands daily. Fortunately the only damage done was to my heart as it pounded when I saw that little red tongue glide and glide over the dodgy surface.

I read on CNN that it’ll take at least 3-6 months to stem the spread of this outbreak. Here’s hoping for the best while putting my family in a bubble and reading up on the worst. Can’t help it.