Ebola and nurse Hickox
(an open letter)
Give her (and him) a trick.
(2014 Nov blog post)
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if I ever return to this page.
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In October 2014, things were getting bad here in the U.S. Ebola-wise. A man ( Mr. Thomas Eri Duncan ) died in Dallas after coming to the U.S. from Liberia. When he went to a Dallas hospital with a severe headache, a nurse sent him home with some antibiotics --- even after finding out that he had just come from Liberia, where the Ebola epidemic had killed several thousand people, with no end in sight.
(Apparently, this nurse does not keep up with current events --- or she received absolutely no instructions on how to deal with potential Ebola patients, from the CDC or her nursing supervisors. She was simply following typical U.S. protocols for headaches: Hand out antibiotics --- even though we repeatedly read about how handing out antibiotics, without clear reasons to do so, say lab/field testing, is a major part of the problem in generating more and more bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.)
Duncan died after his relatives returned him to that hospital. Meanwhile, the CDC was trying to convince the American people that the CDC had the situation well in hand, while their various pronouncements and subsequent events proved quite the contrary.
Then, also in October 2014, a nurse, Kaci Hickox returned to the U.S. from Sierra Leone --- and refused to adhere to a 21-day quarantine in New Jersey. Furthermore, she retained a lawyer to claim that her human rights had been violated.
(Apparently, this nurse thinks she has an inalienable right to risk the health and lives of thousands, and even millions, because she cannot entertain or educate herself in a quarantine space for 21-days.)
Here is my letter to her that expresses my feelings about the attitudes expressed by this so-called 'nurse'.
Letter to Hickox
SUBJECT: DEPORT THE SO-CALLED NURSE
You call yourself a nurse, but your nursing credentials should be revoked. You are obviously more interested in your own convenience than in the health of your neighbors and fellow-citizens.
In fact, I think that, by your extremely selfish behavior, that is potentially endangering your fellow U.S. citizens, you have sacrificed your rights to be a citizen. You should be deported to a country of your choice --- a country that does not think people from Sub-Saharan African countries, with currently raging Ebola outbreaks, should have to be quarantined. If you can't find such a country, the U.S. government should drop you off on a remote, uninhabited Aleutian island.
Apparently you think 21 days in quarantine is as bad as a life sentence in solitary confinement. You apparently have no reading interests. You could use the remaining 14 days or less of your current quarantine to read medical research on Ebola --- or read nursing or self-improvement books --- or simply to read about the dirty laundry of your favorite celebrities.
Apparently you have no interests in reading. You would rather scare your neighbors.
I think the Governors of New Jersey, New York, and Maine have been saying the right things with respect to simply asking you to stay in quarantine a couple of weeks.
You will probably emerge in 21 days with no Ebola signs. But if you DO prove to be carrying at least one Ebola virus particle, you and your lawyer can expect a lawsuit from me --- on the grounds that both you and your lawyer have endangered the lives of my close relatives who live in the New York City, New Jersey area.
Since you refuse to abide by the quarantine, I vote for immediate deportation.
Supporting information :
I have tried to keep this letter relatively brief, but there are some details related to this nurse and this situation that should be added.
For example, I found that she had made statements that she believes that a person with Ebola virus in them is not infectious until they show outward symptoms of the disease. (This defies common sense, as detailed further below.)
Ebola symptoms include one or more of
as indicated in the following diagram.
Hickox stated that since she was not showing outward signs that was proof that she was not infectious --- and hence she should be allowed to leave quarantine after 7 days (or less) --- and that her rights as a U.S. citizen were violated.
Please note that it defies common sense to believe that absolutely and without exception a person cannot contract Ebola from a person --- if that person is not yet showing outward signs of the Ebola disease.
Consider this scenario: Say 20 seconds (or a few minutes or so) before an Ebola victim starts showing outward signs, like a persistent headache, a person comes in close contact with the victim (say a kiss or sharing a spoon or touching their sweat or having sex). Then it is impossible to contract the disease?!?!?!
This is like saying the Ebola virus was not in the victim at one point in time (at least, not enough to infect anyone), and then, a few seconds later, the victim suddenly had Ebola virus in their fluids (sufficient to cause infection in another person).
If this is what Kaci Hickox believes, then she should not be a nurse. She lacks basic common sense. That is a danger to her patients --- and, in this case, a potential danger to any people around her.
This nurse is like too many nurses who accept what they read in their nurses' training books without adding a little common-sense to the mixture. They lack what is commonly called 'a healthy skepticism'. They are too literal (and uncritical) in their reading of nursing texts and other medical articles and writings.
During the uproar over Hickox (in New Jersey and in Maine), some surveys were conducted asking people if Hickox should comply with a 21-day-quarantine. These surveys showed that about 72 to 82 percent of the public felt that she should comply with the quarantine.
These surveys show that I am NOT in a minority in my opinion that she is being quite 'cavalier' in her refusal to finish the 14 days or so of her initial quarantine in New Jersey.
For further information :
In case I do not return to update this page, here are a few Google searches you can use to provide updates on nurse Kaci Hickox and various related aspects of the on-going Ebola story.
Other Ebola pages on this site :
I intend to eventually add a page of reference data from the book 'Ebola' by David Quammen. Quammen demonstrates a knowledgable and healthy respect for the ways that this disease can be propagated.
(Read about the woman from the Netherlands, who, while on an African safari, toured a 'python cave' full of bats, and later died of Ebola in the Netherlands. Quammen says she is the first person to die of Ebola outside of Africa.)
We need nurses who exhibit common-sense --- nurses who do not memorize phrases from their nursing texts (and pronouncements from the CDC) without applying some 'healthy skepticism' and 'rational thought'. Also ...
We need a better CDC (Centers for Disease Control) --- a CDC that is more interested in informing people of the details of how to avoid Ebola infections (and thoroughly handling effluents from Ebola patients in the U.S.) than in trying to avoid what they consider panic.
The CDC apparently believes that the vast majority of the U.S. citizenry does not have any common-sense --- that they need to be fed verbal pablum like little babies.
I think that at least 50% of the U.S. citizenry are more inclined toward 'heathy skepticism' than toward panic --- on the subject of Ebola exposures in the U.S.
The majority of the U.S. citizens are capable of identifying 'hogwash' when they hear/read it.
This plays on the fact that the Hickox situation
was occurring in October --- near Halloween.
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Page was posted 2014 Nov 18.
This 2007 data should be revisted in the future.
For more information, see the book 'Ebola' by David Quammen.