Saturday, October 25, 2014

This is How We Fight Ebola?

“Stupid is as stupid does.”
--Forrest Gump

I’d like to keep this blog professional, but I’m having a difficult time toning down my rhetoric while formulating a response to the idiotic move made by New York and New Jersey’s governors when they decided in their imminent wisdom to trump recommendations by experts at the CDC (who actually know a thing or two about Ebola) and enforce a mandatory three week quarantine for healthcare workers returning from West Africa.  

But then again, why should I be surprised? Sadly, the vast majority of our elected officials are, let’s just face it, plain stupid. And when people are afraid, they tend to act even more stupidly than they already are.

I will admit that on the surface this mandatory quarantine appears to make sense, but only on the surface. The clearly understandable and well-publicized arguments against such a quarantine are so strong and compelling that I find it shocking that Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie went ahead with their moronic policy. Didn’t they know that bloggers like me would lambaste them and share our disgust with all our friends on facebook and twitter?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with why their move is so imprudent, rash, foolish, asinine, and idiotic, I’ll be happy to explain.

First and foremost, the experts think a quarantine is a bad idea, and they’re pretty unanimous on this. This alone should be reason enough, but since it has become so hip not to trust our experts I’ll go ahead and explain why these generally intelligent and accomplished professionals say a mandatory quarantine will be counterproductive.

On one hand, the quarantine won’t add any significant protection over and above careful screening, self-monitoring, and rapid isolation following symptom identification. In fact, a rigid quarantine will make it more likely that individuals will try to cheat the system and bypass it altogether.

On the other hand, and this is probably the most compelling reason why the quarantine is such a bad idea, most healthcare professionals won’t want to try to cheat the system so they simply won’t go to West Africa if they know a trip will cost them an additional three weeks upon their return. We cannot afford to lose a single healthcare worker who is willing to help. What the world still hasn’t seemed to be able to grasp is that we need all the help we can get over there, and we need that help three months ago. Closing our boarders and sticking our heads in the sand isn’t going to make this problem go away. We need billions of dollars and an army of healthcare volunteers, and we need them now. We don’t need idiotic policies enacted by rash politicians who think they know better than everybody else.

So please, please, those of you with a voice, try to make your governors understand that their stupid actions might cost them an election. If they won’t listen to reason, they’ll certainly listen to that.

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