Ebola Nurse Kaci Hickox Is Right to Defy Her Quarantine (VIDEO)

kaci hickox bike ebola nurse maineDo the Ebola-related quarantines go far enough -- or do they go too far? Kaci Hickox, the Maine nurse quarantined in New Jersey after treading patients in West Africa, has returned home. But now Hickox is fighting the quarantine imposed by the state of Maine. She says there's no scientific reason why she should be confined home. Is she right? Is she really being bullied just so the rest of us will feel safer?

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Hickox threatened that if restrictions weren't lifted on her by this morning, she would "go to court to fight for my freedom." She said on NBC's Today:

I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I am not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.

Later this morning, as if to prove her point, Hickox went on an hour-long bike ride with her boyfriend -- openly defying her order to stay home. "I hope that we can continue negotiations and work this out amicably," Hickox said. "There is no legal action against me, so I’m free to go on a bike ride in my hometown."

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For Hickox, this is about her rights as an American and it's about respecting science. Like it or not, she's right about the public safety aspect. She doesn't have symptoms, she's tested negative, and it's been 21 days since her last contact with an Ebola patient; therefore, she's not contagious.

So why do so many of us still wish she'd just stay home?

Many of the circumstances of the Ebola virus are new to us. Politicians and the public are still learning about the disease. And there's a lot about this virus that can be hard to accept. How can something so deadly and horrific, and so difficult to contain in West African countries, not pose the same threat here in the US?

I think the quarantines are erring far, FAR on the side of caution. And I think they have a lot more to do with quelling public hysteria and saving face than with the actual threat. We, the public, are being treated like tantrum-throwing children who won't listen to reason.

As usual, sentiment and fear win over science. Well done, everyone! Way to miss an opportunity to grow yourselves. We're keeping a hero prisoner because we JUST CANNOT with THE EBOLA. I admire that Hickox risked her life to treat Ebola patients. I understand why she won't risk her freedom to save people from their own fear. I think she's right to fight her quarantine.

How do you feel about Hickox defying her quarantine?

 

Image © Robert F. Bukaty/AP/Corbis

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