In March last year, To quote a BBc correspondent in the US: “There have been 4,000 deaths from Ebola in West Africa; one in the USA. From the media coverage, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the other way round.”
I see our founder has been battling with the armament of common sense against the growing hysteria, though, I fear, to less effect than might be desired. I’ve been shocked myself, to read some comments. The MSF doctor, and others, are frequently referred to as criminals—for”‘putting the population at risk” of something they are extremely unlikely to catch anyway. Some have called for returning nurses and doctors to be ‘quarantined’ elsewhere: anywhere but in the USA.
I think our founder is perfectly right. the current quarantine restrictions now in place in New York, New Jersey and Illinois are purely political (and, one has to assume, anti-Obama). And, for all the public talk of ‘preparedness’, the picture of the quarantine in which the nurse—who has now twice tested negative for Ebola—is being held looks distinctly ad hoc to me.
Another photo I’ve seen suggests that what has been described as a ‘dedicated facility’ in which the tent is placed is suspiciously like a car park. This looks to me no more than a stage set designed to impress the unknowledgeable. And in any case, it is hardly necessary for someone who is not yet actually infected, or infectious; and of virtually no use whatsoever for someone who becomes so.
But I suppose an ordinary quarantine room in an infectious diseases hospital—I once spent a couple of weeks in one until I was finally diagnosed with an illness which wasn’t transmissible—just wouldn’t look superficially so impressive.
Just as the setup for the media would not have looked quite so impressive on the telly without an ambulance flashing its emergency lights, escorted by—was it seven or eight?—police cars . . . .
It appears Cuomo has changed his mind, and the nurse may, after all, ‘self-quarantine’ at home in Maine . . .I suppose, if any airline in the USA would now take her there? Perhaps he needs the tent to house a five-year-old.