In Payson, Ariz., paranoia ignited after word spread that a missionary who had traveled to Liberia on a church trip was spending three weeks under a self-imposed quarantine with his wife and four children. The missionary, Allen Mann, strung yellow caution tape and a “No Trespassing” sign around his front door and left a bucket in the yard for neighbors to drop off food and treats for his children.
While most neighbors understood there was scant risk that Mr. Mann, 41, had carried the disease home, rumors nevertheless coursed around town that he had tested positive for Ebola and would soon be medically evacuated. Mr. Mann said an anonymous commentator on a local news website had suggested burning down his house.
“People had this lynch-mob mentality,” he said…
“They all want to get out,” Mr. Mason said. “They want their liberty and to be able to touch and be human beings. But they fear they’re not going to be normal human beings again. When I asked them if they heard about the second nurse, Oliver looked at me and said, ‘Are they going to blame us for that?’ ”