Kaci Hickox is a selfless, wonderful nurse who put her life on hold and risked it in order to help those suffering from Ebola in West Africa. Those actions should be applauded. Her behavior after returning to the United States, however, is far less laudable.
Upon landing in Newark airport, Hickox was taken into mandatory quarantine. From her reports, it sounds like the first few hours or day were not as comfortable as they should have been, though as officials were able to create more comfortable accommodations, those complaints became moot. Why is Hickox angry? The nurse believes she should be trusted to self-quarantine and blames New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for ‘imprisoning’ her for the mandatory 21-days of quarantine (her home state of Maine just decided to accept her transfer.
Why doesn’t Christie trust Hickox and her coworkers to abide by a self-quarantine? Two of the individuals who have developed Ebola on U.S. soil (as well as an honorable mention) have taught us valuable lessons about how much healthcare workers can be trusted to self-quarantine.
1. The Bowler: Despite feeling fatigued, a first sign of Ebola, Dr. Craig Spencer didn’t let any possible exposure to Ebola stop him from gallivanting across New York City. He went bowling in Brooklyn, visited the High Line, took an Uber car, and had direct contact with his fiancee. She might not be too happy with him after his release.
2. The Flyer: After one of her fellow nurses came down with Ebola, Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson diligently took her temperature every day. When she took a reading of 99.5, not technically a fever, but also not quite a reassuring number, she called the CDC to ask if it was safe to fly to Cleveland for a wedding. She was given the all-clear, and was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to Dallas. Vinson should never been in the air, the fault for which falls not only on Vinson, but also on the CDC. The CDC also has told New York and New Jersey’s Governors that mandatory quarantine isn’t necessary. Thankfully for us, they disagree.
3. The Soup Lady: Thankfully NBC correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman never came down with Ebola. We weren’t sure that would be the case, however, when she decided to break the self-quarantine she was in… for soup.
Do you think that mandatory quarantine is necessary? Or is it a violation of civil liberties?