Ebola Nurse Balks At Voluntary Confinement

You’re familiar with the nurse, Kaci Hickox, who was the center of a kerfuffle in New Jersey when she was involuntarily quarantined after returning from West Africa, threatening to sue, because she apparently knows best, and apparently has no qualms about potentially exposing other people to Ebola. Now, Maine is looking to quarantine her

(Fox News) Maine health officials said Tuesday that they are prepared to go to court to force nurse Kaci Hickox to comply with the state’s “voluntary” 21-day quarantine period for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients, as the nurse vows to defy the state.

Hickox, on Wednesday, told NBC’s “Today” that she doesn’t “plan on sticking to the guidelines” and is “appalled” by the home quarantine policies “forced” on her.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” she said, saying she’s in “perfectly good health.”

Jazz Shaw wrote about this earlier this morning, in that Maine had been looking for a way to enforce a quarantine, and now we know how.

As a nurse, she should know better, yet, she is exposing herself to her boyfriend (BTW, does she know that the main way to catch Ebola is through transfer of bodily fluids?), who will then expose himself to others

On Monday, Hickox traveled from New Jersey to Maine, where her boyfriend is a senior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Her boyfriend opted to leave Fort Kent to spend time with her during the quarantine period, officials said Tuesday.

If Hickox were to show Ebola symptoms, then her boyfriend and any others who had contact with her also would be subject to quarantine, Mayhew said.

The news of Hickox’s return to Maine swept across the town of Fort Kent and the university campus, which has 1,400 students.

Faith Morneault, a 19-year-old behavioral science student, said news that Hickox may be headed to Fort Kent had caused “a lot of panic” among students. But she said she understands her desire to go home.

“You can’t freak out in this situation. You have to understand it,” she said.

So, if she starts showing symptoms (hopefully not), then she will have caused lots of other people to be forced into quarantine. Which is a time honored way of dealing with disease.

The very fact is, Ebola is a tremendously hard disease to catch. Yet, every so often, we have big outbreaks. More people will die from the common flu this year than Ebola. Yet, Ebola illicits a visceral reaction from people simply upon hearing the word. Even those who do not really understand what it does, it causes fear and anxiety. Mention the Bubonic Plague, and there is little concern, yet, on average, 9 people in the US will catch it. People think it’s a disease from almost a 1000 years ago. Jazz goes on

But this is really just a microcosm of the larger, national hypocrisy on this issue. Noah already highlighted (in much more polite words than I could have managed) the doublespeak of the President when he attempted to explain how mandatory quarantines of people who are actually working with Ebola patients are insulting and bad, but quarantining our troops who do not have such contact is an obvious choice. In fact, there seems to be little that the administration and their media surrogates can agree on except for four things:

1. Chris Christie is a terrible person and we shouldn’t do anything he says.
2. Mandatory quarantines are insulting and bad for America.
3. We obviously need to go ahead and do exactly what Christie put in place.
4. But under no circumstances should we call it a mandatory quarantine.

If you get the flu, you isolate yourself from other people. Ms. Hickox is practicing bad medicine, and is irresponsible to potentially expose others because she is, as so many others nowadays, utterly selfish.

More:  How’d that self-quarantining work with the NY doctor, Dr. Craig Spencer?

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

Spencer finally ’fessed up when a cop “got on the phone and had to relay questions to him through the Health Department,” a source said.

Huh. Meanwhile

A new CBS News poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly support quarantine for travelers arriving from West Africa. Eighty percent think U.S. citizens and legal residents returning from West Africa should be quarantined upon their arrival in the U.S. until it is certain they don’t have Ebola. Just 17 percent think they should be allowed to enter as long as they do not show symptoms of Ebola.

Certainly, it is correct that it is enormously difficult to contract Ebola. That said, why make it easier to spread? Nip it in the bud. Also, those who have voluntarily put themselves in harms way should not be ostracized nor denigrated. They’ve done a good thing. Yet, they will ruin the notion of people doing good work if they are so selfish that they recklessly potentially expose other people. If you went to work, the supermarket, the mall, etc, and saw someone in the throes of the flu, would you say “great, freedom! Civil rights! No one should be confined!”? Or would you think the person was a selfish you-know-what for exposing other people, including yourself?

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6 Responses to “Ebola Nurse Balks At Voluntary Confinement”

  1. […] who was held in quarantine in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa is still mad. Kaci Hickox was sent back to Maine, where authorities want her to continue her quarantine, but […]

  2. […] who was held in quarantine in New Jersey after returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa is still mad. Kaci Hickox was sent back to Maine, where authorities want her to continue her quarantine, but she […]

  3. Stosh says:

    “More people will die from the common flu this year than Ebola.”

    This is a somewhat bogus statistic. It is true 5,000 people will likely die from the flu this year, but that is out of over 50,000,000 people that will catch it. If that number caught ebola, half or much more would die. If you had over 25,000,000 dead in the US it would be catastrophic.

  4. John says:

    Stiosh worldwide between 250000 and 500000 die each year
    Around 10000 die in the USA
    This is all just more of the right wing fear mongering

  5. John says:

    You must I guess be able to diagnosis flu from a simple cold a lot better than me

  6. I suspect John has no problem with a potential ebola carrier walking around free Somewhere Else. His tune would change if it happened in his town.

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