Several months ago, the first group of nurses from the UK National Health Service volunteered to go to Africa to care for Ebola patients there, who are in dire need. It seemed an immensely heroic thing to do, given the lethal nature of Ebola and the ease with which it can be contracted from patients suffering overt symptoms.
Just before Christmas, a Scottish nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, returned from her stint in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She was checked repeatedly at airports on her return and was deemed to be healthy. But she had not been home for more than a few days when she developed a fever and tested positive for the Ebola virus. She was transferred to an isolation unit in a London hospital, where she was given treatment but she slipped into a critical condition. The most optimistic assessment was that she had a 50/50 chance of survival.
Yesterday the hospital announced that she was no longer on the critical list. The chances of her surviving have sky-rocketed.
It sounds like it could be the kind of happy ending that appears more often in a Hollywood-produced fantasy than on the front pages of our real-life media.
I’m taking this opportunity to dance a little.