Things I am currently afraid of:
Static on my television set
Showering when I’m home alone
Are they rational? Irrational?
Should it matter?
People are afraid of lots of things. Heights. Spiders. Snakes. Public Speaking. The dentist. Flying. Dogs.
When a friend tells me that she’s afraid of dogs, I don’t try to give her statistics about how unlikely it is that she’ll get bitten by a dog.
When a friend tells me that she’s afraid of snakes, I don’t tell her how I’m a snake expert and that she’s got nothing to worry about.
When a friend tells me that she’s afraid of heights, I don’t call her ignorant.
When a friend uses humor to make a joke about her fear of the dentist, I laugh and move on. I’m thankful that I’m not afraid of the dentist, especially since I have to visit mine soon due to a pesky face-hurting TMJ situation.
I am afraid of Ebola. After all, it’s an infectious disease. I am also afraid of rabies, smallpox, leprosy…and gastroenteritis. I’m equal opportunity in this fear, really.
I use humor to make jokes about it.
Something on Facebook about the movie Outbreak. I made the comment, thought it was mostly funny, and went to my photoshoot. When my shoot was over a few hours later, my phone had exploded with response. “I guess I am funnier than I thought,” I said to myself. Only…no. That’s entirely not what happened.
Apparently, I am ignorant.
Apparently, being afraid of infectious disease means that I don’t have compassion for people who are suffering.
Apparently, I’m uneducated in how this disease spreads. I’m not heavily involved in the medical community, you guys, so therefore I don’t know anything.
Apparently, I’m a lot of things. Funny wasn’t one of them.
It’s interesting that the public should be able to decide what I should and shouldn’t fear. WHY DO YOU CARE? You didn’t think my comment was funny? That’s cool, I’m only accidentally funny. I’m not offended. You aren’t afraid of Ebola? Lucky you! I wish I wasn’t afraid of infectious disease. I’d have a much easier time touching door handles or sitting in doctor’s office waiting rooms or using public toilets. I’m jealous of you, actually.
I am sorry there are people suffering. So sorry. My heart breaks for them and their families. I have faith in our health care system and sincerely hope that our Atlanta doctors can do something to help.
But I will not apologize for having a fear. Or for using humor.
…I do wonder, though, how you feel about my fear of gefilte fish.