A quarantine is good enough for the military but not civilians.
This editorial is behind the WSJ paywall, but I bought the weekend edition and read it, and agree.
The gist of the argument is that the administrations “principled stand” against travel restrictions and quarantines for returning travelers from effected countries is based on science. As they have claimed. However the science it’s based on is Political Science, not the other kind. Medical science changes as new observations and data are uncovered or discovered through research. Experts in viral research who are not associated with the politicized CDC will readily say that there is a lot they don’t know about this Ebola outbreak. Especially in regards to its rapid spread and vastly larger area of infection, literally worldwide. Thus, standard Public Safety practices would dictate travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines for at-risk persons. If this had been put in place when the Ebola epidemic reached the West African coast and its international air terminals, Ebola might never have reached the USA and other international points of infection. I’m at a loss to understand the logic of persons selfless enough to journey into such dangerous places to do good and yet selfish enough to fuss, whine and throw a tantrum at being required to spend 21 days in quarantine, possibly at their own home. Especially after seeing first hand the horrific ordeal facing Ebola victims. (Can I repeat again; there is no quick, certain test for Ebola. False negatives are common, in fact every current American victim tested negative for Ebola at least once. Some did several times.)
The poster child for irresponsible behavior here is Kaci Hickox. But her being an employee of the CDC is probably the reason for that. That is the reason that the Wall Street Journal (and me) are saying that the science behind the Obama Administrations stand against travel restrictions and returning quarantines is Political Science. Because political science is much more rigid, inflexible and slow to change when conditions and facts change. Decisions made on the basis of political science, shit, lets just say political decisions by politicians don’t change because they are always made on the basis of how it looks to that politicians supporters. If you had to pick from these three choices; Medical Science, Public Safety, or Politics. Which would be the basis of the Administrations and the CDC’s stand on quarantines? The proof of this will surely come after the Mid-Term elections on Tuesday, right after is my guess. Time will tell how many American lives will be put at risk because of it.
Now for some pure speculation on my part.
Epidemiologists have expressed shock at the sky-high infection rates in the West African cities and the rapid spread of the disease. I was reading an account of the American doctors and nurse who all were sick from Ebola. Quite horrific. Their personal accounts of vomiting, diarrhea and massive fluid loss.
And then a horrible thought occurred to me. The previous outbreaks occurred in the interior, this outbreak as it reached the coast and populous urban areas passed the the outbreaks of the past. Cities have sewers, jungle villages don’t. Sewers have rats. Rats are bats without their pilot licenses. I wondered if the West African cities were about to find out that curing all the human cases doesn’t stop the outbreak permanently.
Then I remembered Duncan. Dallas has sewers. The video of the maintenance dude hosing the blood and vomit off the sidewalk in front of his apartment house. The one real nightmare has been the thought of Ebola establishing itself in North America via a host animal. Oy Mama! Remember you heard it hear first at “On the Ebola River”.