Free Markets, Free People

Absurdity upon absurdity

The more I watch our current government work these days the more absurd its works become.

Here’s the story.  Governors Cumo (NY) and Christie (NJ) imposed 21 day quarantines on health care workers returning from countries with ebola epidemics.  That’s right, these poor souls have to spend three weeks being monitored in an area isolated from the general public so if they’re possibly infected they won’t have an opportunity to spread the infection – you know, like the doctor who passed “enhanced screening” at JFK did last week.

Now the first thing I expect to hear is, “whoa, wait – you’re a libertarian and you’re agreeing that the government should have the authority to hold someone against their will?”  What I’m agreeing with is a medical protocol that has stemmed epidemics for hundreds of years – at least since we’ve discovered it was germs and viruses, not “ill humors” that brought various plagues.

And, its not like we’re talking “imprisoning” them or this taking years or even months.  3 freaking weeks.  3 weeks in some sort of center where they can be medically monitored to ensure they aren’t infectious before they’re given the okay to again join the general population.

Instead we get two reactions.  One from a “health care worker”:

Hickox, the first nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey under the state’s new policy, said her isolation at a hospital was ‘inhumane,’ adding: ‘We have to be very careful about letting politicians make health decisions.’

Hickox is now suing and has now hired Norman Siegel, a high profile civil rights attorney, to challenge the order.

Well, of course she has.  Because one of the things we see more and more of is “we have rights!” but it is rarely followed by “and we have responsibilities that go with those rights”.  You know, like taking the precautions necessary to ensure you don’t infect others.  By the way, she’s complaining that she tested negative for ebola.  I’d remind her, so did the doctor who is now down with ebola in NYC.  Nope, this is all about “her rights” – screw yours.

Now contrast that with this bit of word salad from the NIH:

‘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, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci made the rounds on five major Sunday morning talk shows to argue that policy should be driven by science — and that science says people with the virus are not contagious until symptoms appear. And even then, infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids.

He said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa — an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made.

‘If we don’t have our people volunteering to go over there, then you’re going to have other countries that are not going to do it and then the epidemic will continue to roar,’ Fauci said.

A) It doesn’t have to be “very, very uncomfortable”.  They’re health care professionals.  It’s kinda like a deep sea diver saying he’s not going to spend the decompression time necessary to avoid the bends because it’s “uncomfortable”.  Of course he is, because that is part of the freakin job!   Anyone remember this: “first do no harm”.  Until you are sure you are ebola free – that’s after 21 days – then you can’t be sure you’re fulfilling that part of your pledge to those you serve, can you?

B) While the best way is obviously to stop ebola in Africa, it certainly does no good to let infected members to return and reintegrate with a population that isn’t infected.  That’s how freakin’ epidemics start!  So certainly stop it in Africa.  But also take the common sense precautions necessary to stop it before it gets here.  Is that too much to ask of a “health care professional” and an agency charged with protecting us from health care threats such as ebola?

C) Because the people “volunteering” are indeed “health care professionals” they should understand the need for quarantine upon returning.  It should be a part of the entire process.  I simply don’t understand the resistance.  I have to wonder if they keep suspected ebola patients in the same wards with regular patients.  Well, no, of course not.  They quarantine them, even if the chance of them infecting others is very small.  Why, oh why, is it too much to ask those who’ve been exposed to the virus and may be infected (but asymptomatic) to have a little regard for others and understand the need for separation for a period of time? Oh, and by the way, if the virus mutates (and health care officials say it might, given the amount of infection seen in Africa) then what?  Suddenly it’s a whole new kettle of fish, isn’t it?  And what they’re asking us to let them do is close the barn door after the ebola cow has left.  Stupid.

So what does the leadership in DC do?  Well it talks the governors out of doing what is common sense and relying on the “wisdom” of a system that promised ebola would never reach the US.

Absurd.  Stupid.  Unthinking.  Dumb.

Don’t know how to say it any other way.

UPDATE: in light of a statement today by dopy Donny Deutsch saying “we’re a nation of cowards” because … well because he believes there’s hysteria in the air … I want to make it clear what I say isn’t said out of “fear”.  It’s said in frustration.  Frustration about applied stupidity.  It’s as though all the common sense precautions we’ve taken in the past are “dated”.  Now we just wing it and make pronouncements about how it just can’t happen here, even though it has happened here.  Talk about arrogance.  And stupidity.

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

33 Responses to Absurdity upon absurdity

  • This should put an end to giving credence to the smug attitudes of Fauci et al.

    It might keep you awake a night or two, but you’ll have a much better grip on ebola and what could be coming along presently and why.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/10/21-days/381901/?single_page=true

    • Hey, Martin, good article. Nice to see you in the comments. Been a while.

    • The Stephen Hatfill in the first photo … is that the guy that the FBI was sure was the perpetrator of the post 9/11 anathax scare ?

      • It sure is, and I think the price they paid for that essentially malicious prosecution was $5.8 million (it’s in the article). Plus he made confidential settlements with a bunch of media outfits. As the article explains, however, Hatfill was not even a specialist in anthrax. That was not his primary focus, though he was portrayed that way. His specialty was *ebola.*

        • I should have read it first.

          I loved this line …
          You don’t want to panic people, but people aren’t stupid. You see people wearing semi-space suits taking these patients into hospitals, and everyone’s telling you there’s no aerosol transmission.

          • Though it’s a long one, on a close read that article puts you six months to a year ahead of the media in its understanding of ebola (they might never catch up). And it explains why the CDC has gotten it wrong, up to now. Frieden and Fauci et al. constantly make statements that attempt to narrow the concern, when what’s called for is candor and clarity resulting in an abundance of caution.

            If you have a moment try a google of David Horowitz (*the* David Horowitz of Frontpage.com) on how public health officials in New York City refused to use standard public health methodology during the early years of the AIDS crisis as the epidemic killed more and more people. Horowitz is one of the few writers who had the guts to go after that. (I’ve got a serious beef with him, but I’ll give him credit for that.)

  • Then there’s this from the Washington Post, an article that I’m surprised to see written, much less published. If you’ve the nerve to drop that “collapse of the Soviet Union” screen out of the picture, you’ll get it full force.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/2014/10/23/ce409716-5945-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html

  • http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/424/319

    Broadly speaking, the factors entailed a balancing test of 1) the private interest that will be affected by the official action considered; 2) the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, and 3) the Government’s interest in containing the individual.

    h/t LegalInsurrection

    I’ll suggest another factor to those Matthews v. Eldridge factors…

    4. YOUR voluntary conduct in bringing yourself in contact with a dangerous contagion.

    Here, you have a do-gooder nurse who is now bitching (I use the term advisedly) about having a few days of restriction on her movements AFTER putting herself in a hot-zone for one of the most dangerous diseases on the planet in terms of lethality.

    And a small point about isolating a diseased population from the rest of the population. In 1665’s Great London Plague, the reason it didn’t become the great English and Scottish Plague is that London was cut off, and that was long before the germ theory of contagion was developed.

    • Sir! I must protest! There are no little tiny creatures we cannot see making us sick! That is the talk of madmen and lunatics!
      The science is settled, things like Malaria, Yellow Fever, even the dreaded Black Death! come from miasmas blown out of fetid unhealthy swampy or marshy areas.
      Avoid bad air at all hazard! It is medically accepted fact! The evidence is all around!
      There is a consensus on this issue!

      • Nay, I protest…!!! If your notion of miasma were true, there would not be a living soul in Washington, D.C.

  • quarantine is actually one of the jobs I EXPECT the government to manage.

    So, of course, that ain’t happenin.
    They’re busy, sending the (needs to be fully spelled out to emphasis the absurdity) Department of Homeland Security out to ensure that t-shirts prints aren’t violating copyrights.
    And flying cute little infected foreign children around the country to spread their illnesses to illness deprived Americans.

    • Control of the border, sound public health policy…those are small government functions.

      If there was a more miserable and apparent example of politics driving policy in the place of common sense…much less good science…this is it.

  • I wonder what kind of accommodations they had in Africa if 21 days in quarantine in the US are so horrific as to constitute human rights violations.

    The only panic or hysteria in the air is that of politicians who can’t tell which way the wind is blowing and “experts” who aren’t and are afraid we will notice.

    All this confusion and hype over quarantine will be settled by the medical expertise of Ron Klain.

  • In thinking about this, it occurred to me that this could be a manifestation of Oikophobia, a malady common among Collectivists.

    The nurse will go into some of the worst pest-holes on the planet to help people there (fine as far as it goes…even thank-worthy in isolation [see what I did there?]). She will risk her life.

    But she can’t be troubled spending a few days with catching up on her reading here at home.

    Worth a thought…

  • http://cdn.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/todayshowquarantine.jpg

    That’s kinda interesting. New York City audience.

    Hmmm….

    • If the Republicans actually wanted it, they could have made a more serious try for a 2/3 majority.

      • Thing is, this is a state and not a Federal function. Barracula has no business meddling in it at all.

  • It’s become VERY obvious that the purpose of this Administration is NOT to “protect, preserve, and defend” ANYTHING.

    We’ve got “ballot box” coming up, again, next week.

    We (relatively few of us, here in our little conservative bubble in the blogosphere) have been doing the “soap box” thing for about 6 years now.

    The other option is truly not an option.

    How, then, do we force the “536 commoditized temple monkeys pawing through the ruins of America” (my notes say that’s Fred Reed’s phraseology) to change their focus to serving (not “servicing” a la barnyard) their constituents?

  • Fear is a normal reaction. It makes you break out of a pattern that isn’t working and that is going to cause imminent danger. Patterns like following along with your peers in a fatal plan. The part of fear that is not healthy is panic. The need to do anything different on impulse. That’s not a problem here, we have historically vetted correct strategies to choose from. Quarantine and Isolation being the most humane.

    Part of the problem with this situation is the Doctors without Borders set have become rockstars especially among liberals, they have developed as sense of entitlement.

    OTOH, although the idea of quarantine is right thing to do, by week 3, the could be in better conditions than living in a tent with no shower and a cheezy chemical toilet. If all that was true, sounds to me that was what they could do initially but not improving the conditions was a response to the nurse’s attitude by everyone’s favorite vindictive RINO.

  • Now THIS is NOT absurd.

    It is, rather, awesome.

    Some folks better hope this doesn’t catch on.

    • http://pjmedia.com/blog/losing-iron-grip-on-black-vote/

      Well, there are hopeful signs.

      Like a lot of Collectivists crapping their pants.

      • All of the people some of the time
        Some of the people all of the time

        I guess maybe African Americans are catching on that it isn’t good to be in that second group ALL of the time.

        • I’d love to see that old skunk, LBJ, peering up from the circle of hell to which he’s consigned and shaking with rage if he’s proven wrong by about 6 decades.

          If the view of him is telecast, anyhow…

  • The soldiers who deployed to Africa to help with Ebola treatment logistics but not treated Ebola patients will be subjected to a 21-day quarantine, yet President Obama is against a similar quarantine for returning civilian medical volunteers who have directly engaged Ebola patients.

  • “‘We have to be very careful about letting politicians make health decisions.’” Obamacare.

    “…that science says people with the virus are not contagious until symptoms appear…” Ok so how do you instantly quarantine the very second that you become contagious? Is there some kind of magic here? How about quarantine until you have been away from an Ebola zone for as many days as it takes to begin to show symptoms? Why is this so difficult?

    “…I guess maybe African Americans…” I’ve known many darker skinned Americans but none of them were born in Africa. In fact, I don’t know any who have ever set foot on the African continent. So why are these folks labeled African Americans? In fact, the only prominent African Americans that I can think of are Elon Musk and Teresa Heinz-Kerry. If we got back far enough, we are all Africans.

    • New rules man, it was just easier to play along – but make sure you don’t mention the failure to adjust the meaning of the letters in NAACP.
      And if you’re a white skinned American citizen actually born somewhere in Africa, you aren’t allowed to classify yourself as African American.
      What are your ‘hispanic’ racial characteristics if you’re a “white” from Spain or Argentina.

      Go figure, the progressive reality based community doesn’t need no stinking reality.

  • Science

    Science!

    Military men and women are not around any Ebola patients, so they need a 21 day quarantine overseas.

    Healthcare workers are doing God’s work treating Ebola patients, so they don’t need to be quarantined.

    Because, SCIENCE !

    I’ll have more tomorrow after my photo op of me hugging returning healthcare workers.

    SCIENCE !!!!!!!!

    —-JD
    http://patterico.com/2014/10/28/shorter-obama-ebola-presser/

    Doesn’t that just say it all…???