Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oops, Birdie Bug, come with us

…HA is getting more and more concerned about the Birdie Bug as it strikes in
Africa, Iraq (which really needed the aggravation), and subtly sneaks around the world. Now she has learned that the Centers for Disease Control put out a phone-book thick, proposed rule in November giving the Feds new powers to follow us around and slap coughing passengers into quarantine. Travelers would be asked for phone numbers and emails in case they need to be notified of a sickie on their flight and tracked down and put in quarantine. For more info, go to www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq. HA is all in favor of the government messing with nature, human and animal, in this case, but is uneasy about what if anything is being done. Mostly it seems to be fanny-covering and meetings. Still, what else can they do?

…Quarantine itself is tricky. To make it work, as some public health officials admit, people who try to leave quarantine would have to be physically restrained (or even shot, do not insert Cheney joke here). The urge to leave, of course, would be occasioned by reluctance to be locked into a facility with people exposed to or suffering from a potentially fatal disease. That would be one for The Big Book of Duh. But joking aside, someone besides Homeland Security needs to be making those calls. They may depend on sick people to just drown, which is not practical. You can never get a hurricane when you need one.

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