Thoughts on Ebola Mandatory Quarantine, Genuine or Irrational Concern? Are we too quick to quarantine?

When a soldier returns from fighting for his country, how is he treated? In most cases, soldiers are honored for their bravery and loyalty to their nation. Sometimes, a parade will even welcome them back home. When a U.S. nurse who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders” returns from treating ill patients in West Africa, how is she treated? She is immediately detained from the airport and placed in an outdoor isolation tent in Newark, New Jersey, with no basis for quarantine. The media’s over sensationalized Ebola coverage has caused major hysteria.

Kaci Hickox was the first person to be quarantined in New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie’s mandate. In his efforts to “protect people in New Jersey”, Christie is now under major scrutiny in the media. Hickox told CNN in a phone interview that her tent was like a “prison”, continuing on that she had a “port-a-potty type restroom”. She said there were “no shower facilities” and another source said she had no heat.

Hickox threatened that she would file a civil rights lawsuit had she not been released, shortly before she was released due to being “symptom-free”. They had originally kept her in quarantine due to her “slightly elevated temperature”. The frustrated and humiliated nurse said this elevated temperature could have been due to her being “flushed and upset” by her treatment at the outdoor tent. Scientists have already explained on numerous occasions and on multiple news outlets that people carrying the Ebola virus are not contagious until they show symptoms.

Hickox had agreed to spend 21 days quarantine in her home in Maine. Since then, there have been news reports that she has broken her promise and has gone biking with her partner.

In an article titled, “Controversy Brews Over Ebola Quarantines as Nurse Held in Newark Agrees to Home Confinement” published on, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it best: “The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers, so we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In order to stop the spread of Ebola, we must attack the source. At this point, we have narrowed down the source to West Africa. If we scare those willing to treat those infected with Ebola in West Africa, how will we ever stop the problem at the source? What are your thoughts?

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