By Robert Connors
Kaci Hickox – you should have called me. We could have chatted about your situation: how you feel and how unfair it is to be in quarantine when you aren’t sick. You could vent for hours, if it made you feel better. (I know, you feel fine – don’t be so literal.)
After you got everything off your chest, I’d point out that there is a legitimate fear of Ebola. That 70% of the people that contracted it, died. That it is over THERE, and Americans don’t want it over HERE. That we have enough deadly diseases here that you can’t catch (e.g., cancer). Americans don’t want a disease here that you can catch.
I know…it’s very difficult to catch Ebola, but you have to admit, some people missed the hygiene class and all the repeat sessions. If one of them gets Ebola…
I’d point out that you treated people who had Ebola and that a couple of other people who treated people with Ebola contracted the disease.
I’d point out that it’s very unlikely you, like many of the others treating Ebola patients, would get the disease. Thank God.
I’d also say that you’d have to agree that anyone who has treated someone with Ebola or who has been around someone who has treated Ebola has quite a bit of anxiety until the 21-day period has passed. Come on, you have to admit, you are a little worried.
Finally, I’d point out that you are a wonderful person who demonstrated all that is good about America. You went to a place that had a deadly disease outbreak and put yourself at risk. Thank God for people like you!
Now, about this quarantine. I know you think it’s unfair, unconstitutional and maybe even illegal. You may be right. However, as Kenny Rogers sang, “you have to know when to fold them.”
As difficult, unfair and unjust as it may be, your best course of action is to quarantine yourself for 21 days. Think about it, there’s no downside. You will demonstrate loudly that you care about others so deeply, that you are willing to sacrifice your own freedom for a period of time. You will be an angel! Sounds like a movie!
Now, let’s talk about what happens if you resist a quarantine. You may show that you are principled and you will feel good and strong by not letting politicians (or anyone) dictate how you live. That’s good, I guess. However, many people are scared. When they are scared, they get mean. Really mean. They will turn on you and all the good you have done will be forgotten. You will be called a narcissist and other colorful names. The reality is that you probably don’t have Ebola. The perception is that you do until proven otherwise. You will be that nurse who was willing to infect others so she could go ride her bike. The one who cared more about people over there than here. You will be mercilessly “attacked” by the media until a bigger story comes out. If, God forbid, you become symptomatic, Ebola will be the least of your concerns.
Kaci – save yourself now and hold a press conference (by Skype). Tell everyone that you were wrong. Here’s what you should say:
“I spent a lot of time in a place that was full of death and despair. I longed for the time I could come home and enjoy the beauty of this country we sometimes take for granted. I let my desire to get back to normal cloud my judgment. I should have been more sympathetic toward the feelings of others and their fears. With a clear mind, I will self-quarantine in my home. I am truly sorry for any trouble this has caused and hope to come outside after 21 days and breath the sweet air of liberty.”