Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why NJ and NY Make Ebola Quarantine Mandatory

Here's the story of the quarantined nurse in NJ. It makes clear to me why quarantine should be mandatory, not voluntary.
Kaci Hickox,...has been caring for Ebola Sierra Leone. Upon her return to the U.S. on Friday, she was placed in quarantine at a New Jersey hospital....

I am a nurse who has just returned to the U.S. .... I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me.
I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see...quarantine....

Again, I wondered what I had done wrong...

I had spent a month watching children die....

I recalled my last night at the Ebola management center in Sierra Leone. I was called in at midnight because a 10-year-old girl was having seizures. I coaxed crushed tablets of Tylenol and an anti-seizure medicine into her mouth as her body jolted in the bed."
I think the level of denial shown in this is remarkable. It boils down to "I did a good and unpleasant thing by helping Ebola patients in Africa (true) and now you disgusting scary awful people are locking me up in quarantine. How DARE you question my medical status (just because many, many, many doctors and nurses have already contracted ebola and died)? How dare you question my right to take a cab, ride the subways, and go bowling any time I feel like it? I am a good person. How dare you treat me like I might be infected?"

And this is exactly why NY and NJ have, in my opinion properly, made quarantine mandatory and not a mere suggestion. Like exposed, probably exposed,and possibly exposed people before her in the US, she makes it pretty clear than voluntary quarantine is not going to happen, because SHE did a good thing and should not be made to suffer at all for it.

Locking up such people as public health hazards strikes me as one of the few things our government...oh wait, strike that...two state governments are getting right.

See the whole scary story in the Dallas News.

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