“Fuck.” A Commentary by CDC Researcher Henry Ross
Today I stand before the Emory community and the world and just have one thing to say: FUCK.
Sure, when I took on the job as lead researcher for the CDC’s efforts to eliminate Ebola, I knew there would be challenges. There would be nights spent in the lab instead of trying to convince my dropout son to get a job, searching for my twelve year-old’s pot, or making passionless love to my wife. I knew there would be media attention and inquisitive freshmen working to pad their resumes, but I could never have anticipated that fateful day that I decided to rub Ebola into the eyes of an innocent.
Surely I could never have resisted the overwhelming urge to grasp Kevin the intern by the throat and remove his biohazard suit, exposing him to deadly disease. After all, this is the kid whose lanky appearance and neckbeard made him look like a prepubescent Lincoln. Who among you would fault me as I filled his corneas with a steady stream of West African virus? Who can cast the first stone at my blatant disregard for CDC protocols as I cackled over Kevin’s tear-soaked face? No easy answers in my book.
“Henry,” you might be asking. “How can you be so negligent that you bring a pandemic to US shores?” To that end, I can only admit that I am human. Some days you show up late for a meeting, or forget your briefcase at home, or simply expel lethal pathogens into the optical centers of a fresh-faced Texas native. Tomorrow is a fresh start.
There has been criticism, though. News stations call it the start of a new plague; my own co-workers call me “reckless” and “no longer allowed to work here.” My wife has taken the kids with her to stay at her mom’s, and these police officers are asking me to step out of my Prius. Apparently it’s not okay to have an off day where you assault a temp with the bane of the African west coast.
So I’ll admit it now: I messed up. The Emory community deserves to know that Ebola’s appearance in Texas, Nebraska, and Kevin’s exhausted bowels rests entirely on my shoulders,