It's sort of hard to read so much about ebola without making a post about it.
Right now, Ebola is pretty low down on the list of things I am worried about. Hell, the flu kills more people every year than ebola has ever killed ever. It doesn't seem incredibly contagious and it doesn't seem like any Americans have died from it yet, making its mortality rate in Americans somewhat less than 70%.
That said, when I heard about how Dr. Spencer, the physician who treated ebola patients in Africa, went around the city doing his thing for over a week before he was diagnosed with Ebola, it did make me angry. If you have a clear exposure to sick patients, why wouldn't you want to be quarantined? It's clear that the doctor who went to Africa to help these people is a hero and cares about people a lot, so why wouldn't he automatically take this precaution?
Yes, I do understand that a three-week quarantine is probably difficult. But at least he could've avoided going on the subway or going bowling. He could've just gone out for completely necessary things.
And yes, I know that ebola is supposedly not contagious until the patient starts to show symptoms. But what if he is contagious an hour or two before the fever is noticed? How many people could be exposed in that period of time if he is going on the subway and not taking any precautions?
It seems like we go from being completely hysterical and overcautious to completely throwing caution to the wind. That medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman was given shit and put on mandatory quarantine after running out to grab a bite to eat when she hadn't even been caring for any sick patients, yet they allowed a nurse who cared for an ebola patient to fly on a plane when she was running a fever.
Aid groups are arguing that a mandatory quarantine would cut medical personnel volunteering in Africa by three quarters. Is that really true? Dr. Spencer was in Africa for two years. Would he really not have gone if he knew he was going to have to be in quarantine for three weeks afterwards? People going to treat Ebola in Africa are risking their lives. Are these people fine with risking their lives, but wouldn't be able to handle a three-week quarantine to prevent risking more lives?
So yes, I am in favor of a mandatory quarantine if there is clear contact with someone sick. But feel free to convince me otherwise.