​Kaci Hickox Is Definitely Not Going to Follow Those Quarantine Rules

Illustration for article titled ​Kaci Hickox Is Definitely Not Going to Follow Those Quarantine Rules

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was placed in quarantine for three days upon returning from treating Ebola in Sierra Leone despite testing negative for Ebola, has been placed under a more relaxed quarantine in her Maine home. Still smelling traces of bullshit and paranoia, Hickox will not be following the updated quarantine protocol.

Hickox has been very vocal about her treatment and the treatment of health workers returning from West Africa. She and her lawyer sat down (well, she Skyped in from isolation in Maine) with Matt Lauer on Today, telling him that she had been following the voluntary isolation guidelines so far, but that she didn't plan on following them throughout the quarantine period, which ends on November 10. Via USA Today:

"I don't plan on sticking to the guidelines," Hickox tells TODAY's Matt Lauer. "I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public."

Hickox, who shows no symptoms of the deadly virus, says she believes the quarantine policy is "not scientifically nor constitutionally just."

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When Lauer asked her if she understood that Dr. Craig Spencer's case left its mark on the psyche of public officials of such a massive city, she responded that she understood that "it has created a lot of fear, but we still have to make policy based on evidence" before calling out the disorganization and lack of leadership she witnessed while at Newark.

She then announced that if Maine's quarantine restrictions on her are not lifted by Thursday, she will take legal action to fight for her freedom.

Image via Today

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DISCUSSION

I think that the way that Hickox was treated in New Jersey, and specifically in Christie's public statements, was terrible and unacceptable. To be forced to stay in an unheated tent, with no flushing toilet, is absurd and a compromise of her rights. We need to treat health care workers who come back from Africa better than that, because to contain this virus, it needs to be contained in Africa, and we need these people to do that.

But there has to be some sort of standard of regulation here. I don't think that we can trust every single person who comes back from Africa to self-regulate and tell the truth, particularly with the atmosphere of extremism that is around this disease now. Maybe it's something where they check in with health care providers once a day or something, not actual full quarantine (which seems a bit ridiculous and a waste of money, when the virus cannot spread until you are showing symptoms).