So this week I start training at Porton Down for possible deployment to Sierra Leone on the Ebola screening program - dependant (I suspect) on the performance I manage while training. Almost everyone else on the course has experience in health service labs, so I'm the odd one out as far as that is concerned, and naturally the guys running things want to make sure I'm not either a dumbo who will spray everyone around him with Ebola, or a jihadist after a cheap ticket.
The guys seem a nice bunch. Amenable, intelligent, friendly, it takes a certain kind of person to works well in a pressured clinical environment.
So today, after introductions, picking up scrubs (gowns that will be worn) and clogs, we talked about the history and characteristics of Ebola virus, then assessing the risks of handling samples and methods to mitigate them, finishing off with working and living conditions in the various centres to which we might be deployed. None of it is scary, all sensible and practical, pretty much how one would hope things would be worked out by people with experience and knowledge of local conditions.
We're off for dinner shortly, and I've got quite a lot of reading up to do when I get back.
My deployment has been declined, and I'm OK with that. Life now goes on, if not exactly like before, then with a little more personal understanding and experience.