My new hero

Had an interesting discussion with colleagues at lunch today as to how much lattitude government officials should have in a genuine infectious disease emergency.  Thing is, Ebola in the US is not an infectious disease emergency.  The policy of quarantining non-symptomatic health care workers just doesn’t have any real science behind it.  It’s the politics of fear.  So, whether Maine has the right to quarantine Kacey Hickox or not, doing so is stupid policy.  And stupid policy calls for civil disobedience.  Hooray for Knox for taking a bike ride.  And shame on the state of Maine for making it absurdly difficult to get a pizza delivered.  Vox:

Now, it is Hickox’s pizza is being held captive. ABC News reports that a local pizza place called the Moose Shack (it gets 2.5 stars on Yelp) would like to send Hickox a pizza. This is a very thoughtful thing for a local business to do for a nurse who helped battle a vicious pandemic.

While Hickox told reporters last night she would enjoy a pizza, it still hasn’t been delivered. This is because the Moose Shack is still “in contact with the police department to see whether they can deliver a pizza.” We’re now at about 20 hours since the ask was made — and no pizza.

Yes, we’ve learned that Ebola can be transmitted in ways we didn’t expect before this outbreak had begun. But it is literally impossible to imagine how Ebola could be transmitted in this particular scenario, which involves a health worker who has twice tested negative for Ebola and a pizza delivery person who has not recently traveled to West Africa. The risk of transmission is non-existent because nobody involved in the exchange has Ebola.

This is arguably the height of absurdity in how the United States has treated returning health care workers. Hickox came home from a harrowing experience and she just wants to get a pizza from a local place that she likes. And for some reason, the Maine police’s response is not a clear yes, of course you should have access to a comfort food. So, hurry up and do the right thing, Maine: let Kaci Hickox have a pizza

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to My new hero

  1. Bob Banaszak says:

    It is far more than just someone wanting a pizza. How long can Ebola stay dormant before showing signs? About 2 weeks? Well, mandatory quarantine should be at least that long. She freely chose to go to Africa so she also chose to abide by the return protocol. Which is 21 day quarantine. There are other doctors and nurses that are doing it. Why not her? She wants her 15 minutes that’s why.

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