Despite our questioning of judges in matters related to banks, it seems that judges sometimes do get it right, as in the case of Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied a mandatory quarantine and won:
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge has rejected a bid by state health officials to restrict the movement of nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied a quarantine for medical workers who have treated Ebola patients.
Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Friday that she should continue daily monitoring and coordinate travel with state officials so monitoring can continue.But, because she’s not showing symptoms, the judge says she’s not infectious.
The state went to court Thursday to impose restrictions until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola ends on Nov. 10.
Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, contended confinement at her home in northern Maine violated her rights.
She also contended it’s not necessary because she poses no risk. She defied the state’s voluntary quarantine by holding a news conference and going for a bike ride.
That statement in bold above is exactly right—the quarantine violated her rights. And that is why this case is important, because Hickox stood up not only for her rights, but for all of our rights. After all, nothing could please the state more than to have the power to detain someone with no symptoms for as long as the state would like to detain them. Oh sure, it starts out reasonably—detain symptom-free medical professionals who work with Ebola patients. If we allowed that, then why shouldn’t the state detain their symptom-free families and friends and friends of friends? Hell, why not just declare martial law with curfews—after all, they’re just trying to keep us safe from a disease that is highly contagious…or not.
That’s all we ever hear, about how super-contagious and deadly Ebola is. However, Louise Troh, the fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan–Ebola “Patient Zero”–never got Ebola and has now been released from quarantine and declared free of Ebola. Troh was not infected even though, according to an interview with NBC in Dallas, she and Duncan had “intimate relations”:
Troh, who is now writing a memoir about her experience, reflected about how her fiance traveled from Liberia specifically to marry her in the United States. They had an intimate relationship when he arrived and they planned to continue their lives together. But that all changed when Duncan developed symptoms of the potentially deadly virus.
All the more reason that Hickox—and everyone else—should fight against mandatory quarantines in cases like that of Hickox. As Hickox says in the CNN interview linked above (around 4-minute mark), the quarantine she faced was “not evidence-based” and “inhumane”—in other words, medical Gitmo. Indeed, since even Duncan’s fiancee did not contract the dreaded disease, perhaps we are not being told the true nature of the sickness. Could this be because non-evidence-based and inhumane detention (a/k/a “quarantine”) of the public at large is the wet dream of the state and “Ebola” provides the perfect excuse? Just asking…
We are beginning to see that the real danger is likely not a pandemic of Ebola, but rather a pandemic of tyranny, if the state is given unchecked power to detain symptom-free people.
You may also be interested in a previous LRM Ebola article: