The story of this Carnival cruise ship in the Caribbean is a lot like Rashomon in the way that it changes depending on you’re talking to. If you check out the news networks, you’re greeted with headlines like “Cruise Ship Nightmare” or treated to possible scenarios of a ship in panic. But if you check out the Twitter feed of Denver reporter Eric Lupher, you’re probably going to get a different story.
A passenger on the ship has been quarantined out of concerns towards possible exposure to the Dallas Ebola patient who died last week. The passenger did not come into direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan at the hospital, but did handle his samples. This was enough to raise concerns at the CDC and cause countries like Mexico and Belize to block the ship from docking. Carnival is bringing the ship back to Texas, but it would seem that everyone is trying to make the best of it according to Lupher:
So who do you believe? I think people would eat a buffet even if the food was made from the people who had eaten there previously, so I’m not shocked. Paying customers earned the right to take that risk in their minds.
The story Eric Lupher is telling through his timeline isn’t full of the panic that you might expect, which is a good thing. Concerns over Ebola are real to a point, but we’re clearly giving in to fear in this situation. You have real people across the Atlantic with the disease, possibly waving their arms for help, while people here are trying to start their own Dallas Buyers Club with experimental drugs because they might’ve stepped in vomit. Try sleeping in vomit before you get frightened, I say.
And sure, I’m one to talk because I’ve written some Ebola stories here and there. I thought they were at least funny though and hopefully the folks who read them were the type to not give into panic or repost them with zombies from World War Z (which happened).
My only question here after it all is why people continue to go on cruise ships? Clearly Ebola is the last thing any of them need to be worried about if they’re already deciding a cruise is the right idea. Brain fluid leaking would be my first worry.