Although much of The Hot Zone is pessimistic and even terrifying, one of its few bright spots is the consistent bravery and teamwork shown by researchers of Ebola, especially the army scientists and soldiers at USAMRIID. Nancy Jaax and her husband Jerry Jaax are prime examples, putting their lives at risk and sacrificing other aspects of their lives in order to ensure that others are safe from a potential Ebola outbreak. Jerry’s team of soldiers, too, displays how vital these qualities are in order to stem the spread of the virus. Although they have a hellish and terrifying job—killing hundreds of Ebola-infected monkeys—they do so with dedication and discretion, understanding that they may need to sacrifice themselves for the good of the general public. Many doctors and researchers with these values appear within the book (such as Dr. Shem Musoke, who contracts Ebola while caring for patients, and Gene Johnson, who tirelessly works to fight Ebola despite the fact that it terrifies him), and it is thanks to them, Preston implies, that the rest of us are able to live our lives oblivious to the dangerous world of pathogens all around us.
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Bravery and Teamwork Quotes in The Hot Zone
They were two human primates carrying another primate. One was the master of the earth, or at least believed himself to be, and the other was a nimble dweller in trees, a cousin of the master of the earth. Both species, the human and the monkey, were in the presence of another life form, which was older and more powerful than either of them, and was a dweller in blood.
Be exquisitely careful. Know where your hands and body are at all times. If you get blood on your suit, stop what you are doing and clean it off right away. Don’t let blood stay on your gloves. Rinse them off right away. With bloody gloves, you can’t see a hole in the glove.
The monkey house had been sterilized. Ebola had met opposition. For a short while, until life could re-establish itself there, the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit was the only building in the world where nothing lived, nothing at all.