I’ve worked with MSF for two years now. None of my previous assignments have ever been breaking news until now.
That’s a problem on many different levels. It’s a problem because no one cared about high HIV/AIDS infection rates in Kenya. It’s a problem because no one cared about the high infant and maternal mortality rates in Laos. It’s a problem because no one cared about the thousands of South Sudanese refugees walking across the Ethiopian border every week.
But now one person has died of Ebola in the United States and the country is on high alert. So much so, in fact, that some of my friends and family are reluctant to see me upon my return. I’m genuinely more anxious to return to the US and face stigmatization for my five weeks in Liberia than I was to come to the country in the first place. I can’t even begin to imagine what the immigration agents at JFK airport are going to do when they see passport stamps for Liberia and Guinea.
Here’s hoping that I have an easy integration back into American society…