At the glorious age of 15 (yes, 15, admittedly too old for this to happen), my favorite activities included binge-watching The Walking Dead, and searching my asthma symptoms on Web M.D. and diagnosing myself with immaculate conception. I never shook the latter hobby, as on average I send a picture of my tonsils to my mother twice a week to make sure I’m not dying. It was fall 2014. The Houston air was transitioning from humid to slightly less humid, and I had traded in my Sperry’s for a darker look of a Miley Cyrus lob, and a Sharpie tattoo of a triangle that captured the essence of my new high school identity.
Times were tough. All over the liberal-controlled media were images of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a mere 5,000 miles from Houston. My mind wandered back to the time at Disney World when I threw up at Epcot at age ten, and thought that there was no way that I would ever throw up again in public. Naturally, I thought the only way that would happen was if I caught Ebola. There was news that a man in Dallas, only three short hours away from my dear home, had caught the disease. I had seen enough Grey’s Anatomy to know it was time to take action.
Coming down from a binge-watching high from The Walking Dead, I imagined Houston ravished by the inevitable Ebola outbreak. But I wouldn’t let it stop me. I single-handedly would fight Ebola. I’m not not saying I’m a doomsday prepper, but I had a similar reaction to the Mayan Calendar/Doomsday scare of 2012. So I took the necessary precaution and logged into my account at PKsafety.com and searched through the various options of hazmat suits. Being cheap, and due to the slight inconvenience that my parents only allowed me to expedite ship the hazmat suit under the pretense that it was a Halloween costume, I decided to buy the lowest level protection suit, specifically just to protect against mold. I was divided between surviving the Apocalypse and paying too much for my Key to Survival.
The day had arrived for my package to grace its comforting presence on my doorstep. I slipped on the white fabric, attached the gas mask to my face and breathed in the fresh aroma of disinfected, Ebola-proof air. Nothing could stop me. It was the night of the first home football game and our rivals from Dallas were coming from the land where Patient 0 was. Others were planning on wearing hospital masks to make fun of them with phrases like “Infected with Sucking” scribbled across them, but that was child’s play. They had no idea what I was holding in my hands: $40 worth of fabric that separated me from death. I zipped up my suit, picturing myself as Will Smith in I Am Legend, ready to face the virus with my trusty German Shepherd and the support of Jaden Smith’s tweets.
Epilogue: Unfortunately, the WHO did their job and the Ebola virus did not in fact spread. The hazmat suit now resides in my closet. I am still convinced it will come in handy one day.