Reaction to the first reported case of Ebola in New York City ranged from swift and measured to explosive and histrionic as the city familiarized itself with Dr. Craig Spencer, his exercise habits, and his bowling game.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo called a 9 p.m. press conference to reassure the city that the case involving the 33-year-old Spencer, recently returned from a Doctors Without Borders mission in Guinea, is an isolated incident that has been handled properly and expertly by the New York City Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, first responders, and Bellevue Hospital medical staff.
See Also: What Happens If Ebola Case Lands At JFK?
“The EMS folks have been training for this situation for weeks and weeks,” de Blasio told reporters.
“We feel good about the way we’re handling the situation,” said Cuomo. “We’re doing everything we should be doing, and we have it under control.”
What we know is that Spencer returned from Guinea via JFK on October 17 experiencing no symptoms. On October 21, he noticed “feeling tired,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett, commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said during the press conference. He also went for a three-mile jog, visited the High Line, spent time with his girlfriend and two additional friends, rode in an Uber car, and went bowling at The Gutter (Village Voice Best of NYC 2014 pick for Best Bowling Alley!) in Williamsburg. The popular alley reportedly closed down after learning Spencer had been there, canceling several CMJ Festival shows. He also admitted to having ridden the 1, A, and L trains.
Spencer had been taking his temperature twice a day since his return, Bassett said, and on Thursday morning reported having a fever of 100.3 degrees. He immediately contacted Doctors Without Borders and was taken to Bellevue Hospital as a person with high risk for Ebola.
Meanwhile, and somewhat predictably, the Twittersphere of the Northeast Corridor went absolutely nuclear while the press conference carried on.
See Twitter reaction on the next page
Bowling. High Line visit. Restaurant. Subway rides. Sure I missed something. If that is self isolation I am a hermit. #Ebola
— Susanne Craig (@susannecraig) October 24, 2014
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) October 24, 2014
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) October 24, 2014
EBoLa could be the name of an obnoxious Manhattan neighborhood.
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) October 24, 2014
Were you swapping vomit with the ebola patient? No? Then stop panicking.
— Michele Catalano (@inthefade) October 24, 2014
This Ebola doctor visited more places in NYC while in “self isolation” than I ever have on a Saturday when I’m feeling energetic
— Joel Pavelski (@joelcifer) October 24, 2014
And, here is your regular reminder that you’re not getting Ebola. Nope, not even you.
— sarah maclean (@sarahmaclean) October 24, 2014
Very clever virus Ebola has mutated into making people want to go out and do stuff.
— Brian Sack (@brian_sack) October 24, 2014
I thought about taking an alternate subway line to work tomorrow, but to be honest I’d rather risk Ebola than go out of my way.
— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jill_Jorgensen) October 24, 2014
The most important things about Ebola is not to panic. Like if you think you might have Ebola, that’s no reason to cancel bowling plans.
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) October 24, 2014
New Yorkers are the best RT @erinmdurkin: Bellevue staffers were allowed to opt out of caring for Ebola patient, but none did so.
— James Freedland (@jmzzz) October 24, 2014
EBOLA! but we never did anything about sandy hook EBOLA! ferguson is still occurring why aren’t we EBOLA! the midterms and women’s righ-EBOL
— Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) October 24, 2014
And let’s close with one from The Donald, shall we?
If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2014