Kaci Hickox has a good case. She’s asymptomatic, with the exception of the “anger induced fever” she had when she arrived at Newark Liberty International airport upon arriving from Sierra Leone. She believes that her quarantine is unjust and unwarranted. Unjust, likely. Unwarranted? That’s another question.
There is no Federal quarantine in place for people returning from the Ebola hot zones in West Africa (that is if you ignore the soldiers who are in fact being quarantined); no law, hence what will they enforce? We can argue all day and probably into several weeks to be honest whether or not it makes sense to impose such quarantine. But there are quite a few conflicting opinions on the transmissibility of this virus, and even its incubation period. Sorry, that’s a fact. I haven’t seen anything from the CDC that says with 100% certainty that they know A; How long it takes before a person starts to show symptoms; B, what those symptoms are going to be as some people don’t show a fever; C, how little of the virus needs to be in their blood stream before it actually shows up in the test to find it; and D; How the hell it’s transmitted anyway.
Just this morning the CDC admits that the virus can be transmitted in an air-borne fashion. Oh they’re doing their best not to say it’s spread that way, but when they tell you that yes, people sneeze and produce droplets of the virus, well one can assume that means it’s airborne. They’ve also told us that you can’t get it from sitting on a bus, but you can transmit in when you’re sitting on the bus. Then of course, they tell us that we are alarmists for avoiding the damned bus anyway. They want us to be in a panic over man-made global warming which hasn’t occurred for the last 20 years, but let’s all be nonchalant about a virus that has a fatality rate of anywhere from 25-90%. I get it. Hop in your Prius and head for the nearest bowling alley.
Let’s not forget our bowling fanatic patient, Dr. Crag Spencer, who showed no symptoms when he arrived at JFK and tests detected no trace of the virus. It appears that the test is flawed; quite possibly there was too little of the virus in his system to be detectable. Apparently, enough to eventually make him sick and fully symptomatic. Our hero then goes about town, living life to the fullest, rides subways, busses, eating in public restaurants, exposing who knows how many people. And lied about it afterwards. Doctors without ethics had no comment.
So if our altruistic friend from New York showed no symptoms, tested negative and still eventually came down with the virus, why would any rational person assume that hanging out with Kaci would be a great idea? Each person is a unique organism; who knows how long she may be symptom free. Does she really want her rights to hang out at her local pizza joint in Fort Kent to trump the welfare of the family sitting at the table after her? Well of course she does. Her compassion only goes so far; she’ll treat the dying anywhere in the world as long as we stroke her ego for her “dedication to humanity”, the good soul that she is. Now however, it’s every man (or nurse), for themselves.
Good luck to the State of Maine trying to keep her confined; this should make for great entertainment. I don’t see how the government succeeds here without some type of law or emergency declaration in place that gives them the legal authority to restrict her movements. Sorry, but my belief in her constitutional rights supports her ambition to be a selfish bitch. I don’t care how many people she treated or how long she went there; Doctors without Borders should be the first organization to punish her. Yep, fire her ass. Or at least get ready to send another group of compassionate medical providers to the small town of Fort Kent. The lack of common sense or decency displayed by Hickox and Spencer isn’t really doing your organization any favors. I’m sure that there are thousands of professionals who are motivated by their concern for humanity, not the notoriety. These two don’t fit that description I’m sorry to say.
So let her out. Send her to the Fort Kent quickie mart, or the local bowl-a-rama. Let her live, set her free. But make it clear that she will be held criminally and financially liable for anyone she may infect. The good people of Fort Kent will do their best to avoid her, now and quite possibly for years to come. Don’t think that they don’t know what type of person she really is.
And she probably expected a parade.