Predictable and Predicted: A “Chilling Effect” on Ebola Volunteers

Sadly, the warnings by we few, we Dirty Fucking Hippies infectious disease and public health experts were not heeded (boldface mine):

Mandatory quarantines ordered by some U.S. states for doctors and nurses returning from West Africa’s Ebola outbreak are creating a “chilling effect” on aid work there, the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday….

“There is rising anxiety and confusion among MSF staff members in the field over what they may face when they return home upon completion of their assignments in West Africa,” Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Doctors Without Borders in the United States, said in a statement emailed to Reuters….

Some MSF workers have been delaying their returns to the United States and are staying in Europe for 21 days, Ebola’s maximum incubation period, “in order to avoid facing rising stigmatization at home and possible quarantine,” Delaunay said.

As a result, MSF is discussing whether to shorten some Ebola assignments from their current duration of four to six weeks. Aid workers typically begin and end their assignments in Brussels, the Belgian capital, a spokesman said.

“Some people are being discouraged by their families from returning to the field,” Delaunay said….

Delaunay’s comments on Thursday are the most substantive criticism of the rules since they were announced, suggesting they are eroding MSF’s manpower and forcing American workers into temporary exile.

MSF says the policies have also created a misperception that healthcare workers are endangering the public, even though a person who does not have symptoms cannot spread the virus…

Delaunay, the MSF director, also said there were fears among its non-American workers that other countries may follow the example set by some U.S. states.

All because of non-existent, imaginary fears. This was not only predictable but predicted.

Well done, assholes.

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1 Response to Predictable and Predicted: A “Chilling Effect” on Ebola Volunteers

  1. anon says:

    According to the NYT,

    ” ….based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under those guidelines, anyone who has had direct exposure to Ebola should, during the 21-day incubation period of the virus, be monitored daily by health officials, coordinate travel with the authorities, stay away from public places and gatherings, not go to work, and maintain a three-foot distance from others.”

    I fail to see much of an effective difference between those current guidelines by our leading authority on infectious diseases and the definition of quarantine. Let these healthcare workers stay at home for three weeks and make sure they get paid. Hell, give them a big “Thanks, for your service” government bonus. As long as infection rates stay exponential in Africa, it’s a threat to the entire planet. By the same token the exponential nature of epidemics means that it’s quite sensible to be overly cautious, within reason, than to find out too late that you took the virus too lightly. The difficulty in containing it goes up exponentially, too, and the craptastic record of American hospitals in preventing intra-hospital infections does not inspire confidence.

    These doctors and nurses have the incredible courage and dedication to go to a Third World Country and treat infectious patients with a deadly diseases for a couple of months, but they can’t stand the thought of cooling their jets for 21 days in their own home when they return? Really? We can ask servicemen to go on three tours of Afghanistan, but this is too much to ask of healthcare workers for economic and health concerns? It stigmatizes them? Did we stigmatize Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when we quarantined them for 21 days after Apollo 11? What utter bullshit. This “cry freedom” nonsense in the face of a devastatingly mild inconvenience usually comes from the right. New Jersey should have been better prepared to isolate an individual in comfortable surroundings, but these stay-at-home orders are not unduly burdensome until the CDC updates their recommendations

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