So today on Facebook, I got into a bit of a discussion with my kid brother’s better (and smarter) half over the need to quarantine those coming back after providing care to Ebola sufferers in Africa. She and I disagreed….
So first off let me make sure to set part of the record straight. I know it is not an airborne virus. I could be sitting in an elevator full of people infected with it without any harm at all. There needs to be contact with bodily fluids of the one who is sick to become infected. Over the course of my life, I have discovered that it is pretty darn easy to avoid this hazard.
I also understand that the reason it spreads so easily in Africa is due to the lack of sanitation and medical facilities. We do not have these issues here.
Given that, you might think I don’t see the need for a 21 day (the longest possible time between infection and showing symptoms) quarantine. I will tell you that you are incorrect! I feel it should be mandatory.
My hat goes off to these people who go over there to treat the sick. It takes a special person to go into a country where a deadly virus has reached epidemic levels. I know for a fact I couldn’t and wouldn’t do so. The world is a better place because of people like this. I wish there were more.
However… Up and until recently, there were no cases of the virus in the US. Which means, for me to catch it, I had to go somewhere to do so. In all honesty, I had assumed (which is always a mistake) that all medical providers who went into infected areas WERE subject to a quarantine afterwards.
In fact, some blogger buddies of mine are with Doctors without Borders, (out of South Africa) and they tell me there is a mandatory quarantine before they are even allowed on a plane to get back to their own country. They think our Drs and Nurses are being irresponsible by not doing so.
But, why do I care? I know it aint airborne, and I need to contact bodily fluids to get it… What’s the big deal? Well I’ll tell ya. The best way to keep from getting a disease is to NEVER be exposed. When the only cases were across the ocean on another continent, I didn’t give contracting it another thought. I’m not going there, so why worry?
Now though, we’ve had two medical providers contract it while treating a guy who was infected (Who lied by the way to get on the plane, and the nurses weren’t trained well enough). In addition, we had a doctor who came back was infected, and traveled all over NYC, while contagious (Nope no one caught it from him, but suddenly it’s not thousands of miles away, it’s on our subways and bowling alleys.)
What would’ve happened if he was hit by a car, or split his head open, or cut himself at dinner and someone offered to help?
Add to it, our biggest hospital in Seattle volunteered to be one of 5 that will take those who are infected and come back to the states… That is way to close and scary.
Sometimes, the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few or the one. I just don’t see why it is unreasonable to ask someone, who has a middlin chance of being infected, to give up 21 days to make sure they are healthy. Doing that, will help reassure almost everyone.
It should be paid for by the US, as a thank you for risking their lives for the betterment of others.
I know it is not the zombie apocalypse, and I probably have a MUCH better chance at winning the Powerball twice in a row than catching Ebola. But if I can make that chance ZERO, then I say do it!
But then that’s just me…