Quarantine For Military Personnel, But Not For Others?

May 09, 2015



  Words By Mike Weisbecker, USAF Ret.

Quarantine for Thee but not for Me" Sayeth the Nurse...

I have a lot of  respect for health care workers who volunteer for groups like Doctors Without Borders.  To take time off from their careers to go in and treat folks infected with a disease as scary and deadly as ebola takes a level of controlling your fear that few can ever hope to relate to. 

Having said that, I have a hard time with some of these folks (one a major media conglomerate’s medical mouthpiece and the latest a nurse who just seems to not like taking orders), having returned from being near or handling infected folks, not wanting to comply with a quarantine. 

 

Then you have our DOD.  They have mandated that any members returning from the affected countries that they were ordered to will be quarantined for 21 days before being allowed to eventually redeploy to their home units. 

When this started we were told that the deployed personnel would not be in any of the hot zones in these countries.  They would be assisting in shoring up infrastructure for handling of future outbreaks.  All this while a citizen of one of the countries managed to bring the disease back with him to the Dallas area.  He eventually died and two of the nurses treating him became infected somehow. 

Picture Courtesy Washington Post

So now we have the Defense Department mandating a 21 day quarantine for any personnel redeploying from the affected areas.  Families of the deployed were not pleased when their loved ones were tagged for this mission in the first place.  Now they are being told well you gotta wait three more weeks before your loved one comes home.   I have a friend that is in this situation currently and their family is worried and pissed at the same time.

The excuses for why this is mandated for DOD and not for the volunteers are not standing up to any scrutiny.  Military dependents and service organizations are livid.  Especially over comments from the Commander In Chief and his mouthpiece.  Basically the intent is “well they are military so they will do what we want them to so shut up and color”

Picture Courtesy Department of Defense

But it’s okay for the folks who were close to or even hands on the infected in West Africa to come home on commercial flights, blow off quarantines, go for take out, and threaten to sue over their human rights being violated.  One of the excuses for not mandating quarantines for these workers is “well we don’t want to dissuade others from volunteering”.  Well I don’t want to be exposed to a disease that kills 2/3rds of those who contract it.  Oh and on the dissuading? 

What do you think this latest kick to the midsection of military personnel and their families is going to do to retention and enlistment?