In what might be today's strangest Ebola update (so far, at least), a pair of romance novel models and authors has decided to enter a three-week-long self-imposed quarantine after discovering that they flew on the same commercial jet as Ebola patient Amber Vinson. The CDC has not recommended that those aboard the Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas enter isolation, but Axl Goode and Taylor Cole, who were returning to Texas from a romance novel convention in Ohio, reportedly sat within several feet of then-asymptomatic Vinson; out of concern that they might have contracted the disease and remain asymptomatic themselves, the men will isolate themselves for 21 days, during which time they should show symptoms if they have the virus.
Goode elaborated on his motivation, as well as his frustration with the CDC, in a lengthy Facebook post:
It’s not looking good for the passengers of flight 1143. Although I’m reading lots of reports that it can only be spread through bodily contact, there’s plenty of articles suggesting otherwise. In fact, it could be so easy as the nurse, now identified as Amber Vinson, rubbing a sweaty palm across the top of a seat. Walking through the narrow isle [sic] I could have placed my hand on that same seat as I make my way through the plane. Sitting down, I might have rubbed my sleepy eyes. BAM -- I could have just contracted Ebola.
That’s the problem with this. No one knows how bad it is precisely, and it’s insanely scary. The CDC is staunchly maintaining their stance that it can only be transferred through bodily fluids and those in close contact with someone showing symptoms. There are other reports suggesting it could be spread through saliva droplets in the air within a 3 foot span.
So who do I trust? The CDC that said Amber Vinson was asymptomatic boarding the airplane?
Neither he nor Cole received any additional information from the CDC after reaching out to the center following the flight, Goode says:
That’s comforting. Not. It’s not the CDC’s responsibility to handle everything though. I’m going to stick it out in a self-imposed quarantine the next 21 days. Why? Because I care about those around me and have a greater responsibility to the public.
I’ve been heralding messages all day from my family and friends attempting to assure them I’m okay. It’s going to be hard. Hopefully I haven’t contracted Ebola, and hopefully this will blow over like nothing happened. Hopefully I’ll be able to pay my bills and everything will work out.
What’s not okay, is putting my friends and family in danger of myself. That’s the most selfish thing I could do. So here is my question to you—what would you do if you woke up and were told you had been exposed to one of the most deadly viruses on the planet?
If we want to ensure this doesn’t happen to more people, then I say we band together as a country and take responsibility. I don’t want to scare people. I don’t want to start a frenzy. I want to be solution oriented. I just want this to stop. To do that, it’s going to take every single person doing their part.
The Daily Dot reports that the men have started a GoFundMe account to cover expenses during their isolation.