The odd Ebola outbreak wiping out a small village is nothing new to Africa; the disease has flared up in the Congo almost every year since it was first discovered in 1976. What made the 2014 outbreak so devastating (and horrifying) was that, for the first time in history, it reached a major populated city. This was thanks to a terrified, sick young woman and Liberia's taxi system, which Doug described as "basically five people sitting on each other's laps in the back of a car."
"After the first few Liberian fatalities near the border," says Doug, "an exposed woman was put in quarantine and told to stay in the local hospital. So of course she snuck out in the middle of the night and caught a ride to the capital city, Monrovia. She was vomiting and had diarrhea in the back of the cab (with other passengers coming and going the whole time). Once in Monrovia, everyone went their separate ways."
Except for one notable passenger who decided to go all of those ways.
Doug, his fellow Marines, and the Liberian government were greeted the next day with the comforting knowledge that an unknown number of Ebola-exposed people were now loose and unchecked in a city packed with over a million people. And to finish off our Pandemic Movie Bingo sheet, the government immediately lied to try to cover up the danger of the situation. "Once word got out that there might be infected people in the city, the government -- like any government would have done -- simply announced, 'We've tracked them down. The situation is under control!'"