If Ebola-treating medical personnel won’t self-quarantine, they must be quarantined anyway.

This passage from Hot Air sums up the current administration-friendly rhetoric over Ebola and quarantines nicely.  Short version: the nurse who went overseas to treat Ebola patients, came back, had a fever, got isolated while they tested her, was released to Maine, and announced that she would be the judge of her own quarantining has just been told by Maine officials that no, they will be the judges.  In other words, it’s only going to be voluntary if the volunteer volunteers.  Hot Air is exasperated about the right thing, here:

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.

And let me be blunt, for the record: if you went to West Africa to treat Ebola patients, thank you very much. I mean that, sincerely.  Good job.  Now go get into quarantine.  Because – again, bluntly – at this point I don’t really trust medical personnel to make smart decisions about their own health circumstances.  And forgive me for saying this*, but I have good reasons for that.

The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.

Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“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.

I’m not going to play this game anymore.  Ebola is no respecter of persons, classes, and/or ideological leanings: and I got kids.  And, to be really blunt: I have zero sympathy for anybody who finds that sitting in isolation for a few weeks is seriously hampering their anticipated enjoyable basking in the Left’s latest moral equivalent of war, as Jonah Goldberg likes to put it. Which is increasingly the vibe that I’m getting off of some of the people pounding the table on this topic right now.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: My colleague streiff has a somewhat different article on this topic: he’s rather harder on Chris Christie than I would have been, but his basic point on how this administration treats the folks doing the Left’s latest moral equivalent of war (to wit, better than the folks who fight our actual wars) is highly sound.

*Actually, I don’t care if you do forgive me or not.

18 thoughts on “If Ebola-treating medical personnel won’t self-quarantine, they must be quarantined anyway.”

  1. I think we ought to make the quarantine a requirement to re-enter the US if you’re returning from an Ebola country.
    Sure, it’s voluntary quarantine. You’re free to choose not to return home…

  2. So, if it’s for the “common good”, then individual rights be damned? How…progressive. 😉

    1. If you are attacking me with a knife, I am fully within my rights to try to stop you from killing me. How far I can go depends on the jurisdiction.

      If you are out, possibly spreading a communicable, roughly 70% lethal disease if untreated with no clear treatment except supportive measures, yes, someone should stop you.

      1. So it’s a subjective thing, eh? Progressives often subvert the Constitution as they push America toward Euro-socialism because the ends justify the means in their minds. If civil liberties can be trounced for the “common good”, then who determines what the “common good” is?

        1. Quarantine law is an old, old subject, Jetty.
          I would suggest a look at what sailors signed up for – take on cargo at a port known to have plague, and when you land at the next port, you’re stuck at anchor, unloading *nothing* for weeks while the authorities see if you all sicken and die.
          See, it’s all well and good to say “for the common good”, but this is one of those cases where “… is not a suicide pact” applies.
          Quarantine law in Virginia is, I’m told, pretty good .. you may wish to see just what the state can do to your ass there without any warrants ..


          1. Good reply. I’ve seen a lot of comments based on opinion or partisanship, but little with respect to the actual law. I’ll look more into quarantine law.

          2. No to mention, quarantines still occur for other diseases. I know of at least one case of a person with medication resistant TB, who was homeless, who was sometimes taking the only regimen that his disease was sensitive to, sometimes not. These laws were invoked, to make sure he took the entire regimen, and his TB went into remission, as opposed to evolving and spreading a version of TB that no current medications would treat.

        2. Side note that fits here as well as anywhere else .. quarantines in the U.S. were commonplace up until the 1940s, still frequent in the ’50s, uncommon in the ’60s, rare in the ’70s, and thereafter .. did not happen.
          There are two generations (25 years per generation..ish) that have *no memory* of quarantines, and think of them as “quaint”.
          Clearly, these medical folks have a complete lack of understanding why quarantine is, despite infringing on individual liberty, a solid policy – although if the anti-vaccination folks get traction, there will probably be a resurgence.
          p.s. there would have been a more recent example had San Francisco been a tad more aggressive or AIDS been less associated with “gay”.

          1. I think AIDS was where the whole system of contact tracing and quarantine broke down. Because it was *wrong* to deny gays anonymous sex in bathhouses, apparently.

          2. I was hocked when I was going through old newspapers (that had stories about my grandfather in them) a couple years back at how common and unremarkable quarantine was in the middle of last century.

            I’m well into middle age, and have no memory of one ever occurring. But even a couple of decades before my birth, they were common enough that they were really only noted as a reason for high school sports game cancellations.

    2. Last time I checked, libertarian (Lower case l) types want freedom to do whatever they want as long as no one is getting hurt. LIBERTARIANS!!! want the freedom to do whatever they want and to hell with the consequences.
      She has the potential to hurt a lot of people with her actions. I don’t have an issue with her being isolated.

  3. I’ve said it before, she’s a disgrace to my profession.

    Smartest thing Gov. Christie did was ship her back to her home state of Maine. She doesn’t appear to like her reception there…most folks aren’t totally stupid, and when it comes to the public’s health, choosing politics over the citizens carries a grave price.

    Ms. Hickox is a purebred liberalist, complete with the entitlement soul.

  4. Oh, FFS, that one may take a certain amount of justified pride in having volunteered to undertake the risks of treating Ebola cases is a given; that pride, however, does not impart any special immunity to the disease. The fact of the risk is what makes the deed especially praiseworthy– all of which is more than negated by spreading the risk to people who did not volunteer to be placed at risk.

    1. But she’s a lefty activist! She served with Doctors Without Borders! Those two things make her a Higher Being not subject to the same sicknesses we knuckle-dragging cretins have to deal with.

      1. Great, let her prove that any of those attributes produce immunity .. in a controlled, multi-year study.
        Here’s your lab observation room, Ms. Hickox, you’ll be living here for the duration…

        1. Kindly note the nozzles that can pump out sweet cleansing fire if you are positive. Don’t worry; we won’t use it until you are dead.

      2. I wonder if either (any?) of these special snowflakes has paused to consider that humans do not respond rationally to pandemics or positively to vectors thereof….?

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