On July 26, 2014, Jennifer Yang went on vacation to a cottage with her family who was visiting from Alberta. Yang received a call from McAuley, giving her the official go ahead from the Toronto Star. If Yang chose to go to Sierra Leone, the Star would support her decision. Ultimately, it was her decision to make.
At first, her parents were excited for her, but at the time, they didn’t know how severe the outbreak was in Sierra Leone.
Soon after they returned home from the cottage, Yang received a call from her parents. They were worried about her falling ill and asked her not to travel to West Africa. Yang hadn’t decided whether she was going or not, and her parents’ fears only increased her self-doubt. The following is a Facebook conversation between Yang and her mother on July 30, 2014:
This outbreak is starting get serious, are you sure you need to go?
Don’t worry mom. It is very easy to protect yourself. It cannot be spread by people without symptoms, so staying away from sick people is the important thing. Also, it is not spread by air, only by contact with bodily fluids. If I don’t get any blood, sweat, saliva, urine, feces on me, I am safe.
(And even if I get it on me, it would have to enter my bloodstream or my mouth/eyes).
Please be extra careful, Australia has banned travelling to West Africa. and I heard on the radio from CBC someone suggesting people who come back from West Africa should quarantine for 21 days, if this is the case your California trip will be affected.
LISTEN TO JENNIFER YANG TALK ABOUT HER PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVE: