Closer to Home – Friday Fictioneers

The vastness of the landscape blurred beneath them with the elevation now high enough to move about the cabin. The medevac team stayed at an appropriate distance from the isolation pod, speaking and breathing held in reserves for the duration of the seven-hour flight, their toe-to-head protective gear encumbering their every movement.

They took shifts monitoring the patient, too weak from the virus to respond. The monitors spoke for him, telling them he clung to life.

The virus, too, fought for survival, mutating, adapting, clever, and resilient.

Slice.

One sudden movement tore the hazmat suit, repaired only by duct tape.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction (99 words)

Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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This story was ripped from the headlines. I don’t believe the Ebola virus will set off a pandemic, by the way. However, a new, more virulent, airborne virus may someday. I find it interesting in these doomsday scenarios that it’s always something small that brings about the demise of mankind. A spilled vial, an escaped chimpanzee, or a tear in a hazmat suit…

An Update: Recent news cite that Dr. Kent Brantly was treated with a mystery serum manufactured in San Diego. To date, little of the serum is available.

My thoughts and prayers go out the victim of this terrible disease.

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81 thoughts on “Closer to Home – Friday Fictioneers

    1. a chilling story based on current news. Good choice. Interestingly enough, they had someone from Sierra Leone fly into Gatwick who had flu like symptoms and died. Wasn’t ebola, but shows how easy this can cross borders.

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      1. Yes, I read that bit of news today. Also, someone in NYC is being tested for Ebola. Yikes. It’s a good thing it doesn’t spread easily. Also, as I suspected, one of the doctors flown to Atlanta has been treated with an experimental serum made up of plants! This is a continuing story to be sure.

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  1. I certainly want anybody with the virus to receive the best care possible. That said, I can’t imagine what good can come out of flying the two Americans to Atlanta for treatment there. The risks just seem to rise exponentially with that effort. And, then there’s this … why should that opportunity to be limited to Americans? Why doesn’t anybody else deserve the best care possible?

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    1. When I first heard them flying them here, I was little nervous. I’m less so after being assured, the risk is low. Obviously, more needs to be done to get this under control. I wonder if they could bring more medical supplies, etc to the area in need. A virus knows no borders. We should treat it that way.

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      1. Keeping my fingers crossed. I understand the risk is low, but as far as I’m concerned, with something like Ebola, any risk is too great. When Ebola was confined to rural areas in Africa, it was easy to contain whenever it showed up. As soon as it gets to more urban settings where people actually travel and move around more, and over greater distances, it will become harder to contain. Bringing it into America with all of our travel and movement???? Ugh.

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  2. Amy – this title ” Closer to Home” was very emotional and I was touched. It means a lot when it comes to my family who are living under war in Israel. You have a significant way telling a story!!

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      1. Amy I adore your writings – It gives me a joy and peace. I appreciate your kind words, My youngest brother injured since last week. I hope for his good health and quick recovery.

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  3. love the view from the the virus as it fights hard to survive…let’s hope this Ebola situation stays contained. you really touched close to home. great story, Amy.

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    1. I think viruses fight back pretty fiercely, always trying to survive. I think the scary thing is that they can come back much more deadly. I hope that doesn’t happen here! Oh, did that happen with “Outbreak”? I saw that one, but it’s been a while. Well, that doesn’t surprise me one bit.

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  4. You ripped it from the news as you said.. A pandemic infection will hit us at one point – I’m most scared about bacteria and the growing resilience to antibiotics.. We have wasted our best tool for simple colds and to increase productivity of meat.. Soon we will have TBC and why not bubonic plague to battle…

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    1. I think something will hit us eventually, Bjorn. It may very well could be TBC and the bubonic plague at the same time. Whatever it is, I doubt that we will be ready for it. I’ll try to sound more optimistic. You know, these things come in cycles, like earthquakes, and I know we’re supposedly long overdue. But the antibiotics issue is especially troubling because we could choose a different path there.

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  5. The story has been on my mind all week– the decision to fly those two patients home, one I do not agree with. That said, if it were my family member, I would be relieved to have them home. It’s a risk I don’t think should have been taken, however. Really well done here, Amy! You really did rip this story from the tv screen and bring it to life on the page!

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    1. My first thought when I heard they were transporting them was, “No.” It seems like an invitation for the virus to cross borders, or that by allowing this to happen, it can come happen again with something that could be far more deadly, not that Ebola isn’t deadly. But something more easily transmitted. It looks like everything worked out so far. I’m glad to hear he walked into the hospital. It makes me think they don’t have what they need over there to fight this thing, and that needs to change. Thanks!

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      1. Yes, the medical care for this virus has come a long way… but I’d prefer it not come here. I heard an interview with a CDC specialist who said that he felt that anyone exposed should be quarantined for a minimum of 3 weeks, before coming to the states. It’s a tricky thing. We all want lives saved, but it scares me.

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      2. I know. And just a couple of people who are not quarantined, and wham, it spreads. The truth is, this thing is far from over! They think many people have been exposed who haven’t even been tracked down.

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  6. Dear Amy, I watched as the plane landed and the ambulance took the doctor to Emory Hospital. I was relieved to see some police cars because – hey – we have enemies everywhere and what better way to get at us than to release Ebola here. I hope they do know what they are doing – but anything run by our government seems to be not running on all cylinders lately. I was relieved to see the doctor walking into the hospital. I agree with Bjorn – bacteria worries me a lot more. Now that we are on our last defense antibiotic, it seems we overused our welcome miracle. Good story Amy, really good! Nan 🙂

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    1. It’s easy to jump to conclusions and expect the worst, especially when something so deadly is in our midst. I had no idea he would be walking into the hospital. Shocked, and happy for him and his family. Maybe they tried a new medication on him. Who knows what really goes on. I agree we are pressing our luck with antibiotics.We would really be in trouble without that defense. Thanks so much, Nan.

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  7. Your take on the possibility of a doomsday scenario within our midst, Amy, brings to mind a brilliant play I ushered last year written by Anne Washburn, “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play.” It’s the type of play you either love, like I did, or think is a steaming pile of idiocy as several outraged audience members and even some of my fellow ushers conveyed. I think you would agree with me on this one.

    http://nyti.ms/17WioKA

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    1. I just read the great review there. I think I would definitely agree. How cool that you got to experience that play. I identified with this idea in my story…of our present situation just slightly tweaked by catastrophe. It would be so easy. The idea of no electricity is also a grim possibility. Where would we be without it, and yet our antiquated grid is pretty fragile. Maybe we’re all just hanging on by a thread. I would have liked to have seen that play. Thanks for sharing!

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      1. Reading that play would not have the same impact as seeing it staged. I thought the story was exhilarating and the ending, so moving. Also, story telling and theater are the art forms that survive the apocalypse. I love both, so that warmed my heart, too. Getting to see that play for free was a very satisfying ushering gig for me.

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      2. I agree that reading it couldn’t possibly be the same as seeing it live. There’s nothing like live theater. And you’re right, theater and storytelling can survive the apocalypse. That much we know!

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  8. It really is quite scary. One small, seemingly insignificant incident sets off an uncontrollable destructive reaction.
    I’m not sure why, but the image won’t come through for me on this piece. That’s ok. It is your writing that is always the best bit.

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    1. The pandemic situation is one that scares me the most. I hope it doesn’t happen any time soon. Then, of course, we’ll have to deal with, you know, zombies!

      Hmm, I wonder about the picture. With this theme, I do what is called a “Featured Image,” so it only shows up when I publish something, and it doesn’t show up in the body of my post. Does that happen with all of them, or just this one? Just curious. Thanks, as always, for reading and for the kind words 🙂

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  9. Your second sentence – the suitable distance, breathing held in reserve – really filled the plane, and your story, with tension. And then the torn suit – gadzooks, I’m leaving. Very well done.

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  10. Amy, Good and well-written story based on fact. I read today that the man they brought to the U.S. for treatment is improving, so there’s room for hope. I saw the photo of you and Dawn. How nice that you two could get together when you were both in California. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan. Apparently, the doctor they flew back received an experimental serum! I guess it worked wonders since he walked into the hospital. That is great news! Maybe they will use it in Africa, although I understand they don’t have much of it. Meeting Dawn was wonderful! I hope we can do it again someday. 🙂

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  11. Amy

    Pretty disturbing news from all sides this week – sent me down a dark road I can tell you. I think you conveyed a sense of normality along with a sense of impending doom here, so well done.
    Great to see the photo of you and Dawn, she mentioned she was going to BlogHer – pity we don;t have that here in the UK

    Dee

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    1. Dee, thank you so much for the kind words. I hesitated to write it since they tell us this virus will be easily contained if it crossed borders here. I didn’t want to seem like I was panicked about it. Anyway, it was the first thing I thought about when I saw the prompt.

      Meeting Dawn was a great! I didn’t realize BlogHer wasn’t international! Well, why not? You must come over here then, Dee!

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  12. Amy,
    I love this. Yours is the only Ebola story that I’ve read and it’s been right under our noses for a week. Thanks for picking up the ball and running with it. It would also make a great duct tape commercial. 🙂

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    1. Ha ha, Russell. I’ll leave it to you to find the humor. Duct tape just makes people laugh, right? Why on earth is it called duct tape? And, it’s not even spelled correctly. I’m surprised I didn’t read more about this with this prompt! Maybe it’s something no one wants to think about. Thanks.

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  13. Love the duct tape bit. Life is way too serious now a days. I remember the first days of HIV when we were all so scared and didn’t know what to do. I was a once-upon-a-time nurse. 🙂

    Lily

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    1. So far, the reality looks okay. Wouldn’t you say? I guess it makes for a boring story. Ho hum. I do not like to color within the lines. But as far as reality goes, I’m happy.

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    1. I think a lot of it has to do with how it’s presented in the media. Some of the headlines are pretty scary, but simply don’t apply to the entire world. It think it’s easy for people to jump to conclusions. Thanks.

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