My dear Sister Deborah,
Thanks for your email and I am so glad to hear from you! I thank God for safe travel to the US.
I know how hysterical Americans can get with Ebola because it happened when I was there last October for my son’s wedding. They were monitoring and tracking my husband’s daily temperature for 21 days and also the bride’s dad. Even some of the Bride’s American friends declined to come for the wedding last minute because those of us from Liberia with Ebola would be there…. I know the Country needs to take care of the health of her people but it can also go to unnecessary extremes especially those who never travel outside the US.
It was indeed my pleasure to meet you and I thank God for you and all the good work you are doing here and in other countries to empower women and lift them out of poverty!
I am in awe of Angela Benson and told her I wished I could come back to America to train to be a nurse or doctor if I could be of service to her and her hospital – she is my hero! I took and logged my temperature again this morning as directed – 97.7 – after another below normal reading last night. I am recording as instructed morning and evening. Never an abnormal reading since tracking my temperature several times a day became my reality March 6th when I landed in Liberia – temperature taken upon arrival in the country, at the hotel constantly, everywhere in Liberia – yet this must happen now that I am here in America with even greater scrutiny than when in ebola-land; someone from the US Government needs to speak with me daily and someone needs to visit me.
I replied honestly to the US government monitor that I had visited a hospital – Angela’s hospital – to do an interview for my documentary “Liberians for Liberia, Ebola and Beyond.” So today’s questions from Danielle, the caseworker tracking me, included:
Do you have any symptoms?
What are your recent temperature readings?
When were you at Benson Hospital?
Did you do any patient care?
Will your documentary talk of ebola response?
Danielle – we spoke of this for the last two days – I have a foundation doing microfinance; I am not a health care worker. I am letting Liberians tell their story of their experience and country vs those from elsewhere.
Danielle told me Chicago had agreed to have me monitored by her from San Diego as I will be home there tomorrow night. Thank you God for no fear and hysteria for my parents or their community.
One final question she said needed to be answered on her form, “Are you pregnant?” The absurdity of this made me explode with the ridiculousness of life in America right now. My reaction after she now knows how old I am, where I am staying, where I live, what I am doing every moment, constant monitoring as if I am on some criminal list – explosion on my part! “OMG you are kidding!” was my reply – hers, “Well there could be a medical miracle…” Really…
I am one of “them” vs one of “us” in America and feeling it constantly since my return Tuesday evening. The hotel staff had to answer so many questions online to print my boarding pass for tomorrow afternoon’s flight home to San Diego; I did not engage them in conversation, rather chose to let them be perhaps surprised and ignorant. Ebola conversations do not happen in Geneva, IL – I am not wanting to start one.
Fear vs love. I am committed so to change that reality, locally and globally.
With arms extended, reaching out to include all of our human family with love and joy and gratitude – together we will end ebola with love vs fear ~ Deborah