State-Level Stupid

« October 2014 »

Memo to the states: OH, GOOD, YOU'VE GOT IT COVERED.

The biggest problem with the ebola scare thus far is that, no matter how much the scaryville fearmongers insist that we do stupid things in the name of pretend safety so that we can continue to die from appropriately white first-world causes, the fact of the matter is that the CDC is a federal agency and a travel ban would have to take place at the federal level.

And since the federal level is currently run by someone who, despite his many flaws, is at least fucking sane, the stupid things being called for aren't happening. And that, apparently, is unacceptable.

Which means, as with so many things, we turn to the state level to really fuck things up for everyone. Now, on the upside, of the three states that have decided to be stupid, two found a face-saving loophole, and one, so far, is only declaring that they will be stupid should the opportunity present itself.

The exciting new front in ebola stupidity? The mandatory quarantining for three weeks of any medical professional returning from West Africa, instituted by the state they're returning to. New York and New Jersey invoked the dubiously legal power after the NYC ebola case scared the bloody shits out of them.

They then involuntarily quarantined one nurse, stuck her in a makeshift tent for the weekend with a portable toilet, treated her like shit, and then, when she and her lawyer complained, ended up saying that the mandatory quarantine could take place at people's houses, which is somewhere between no quarantine at all and pretending to do something.

Illinois and Florida, meanwhile, being did not want to be left behind when any awful idea was out there in the aether, quickly leapt on the involuntary quarantine bandwagon, just in time for Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie to back down in the face of the White House and the entire health profession calling them insane and stupid.

Illinois invoked the same mandatory quarantine for health workers that's gone so well in New York and New Jersey. Florida, knowing that any bad idea can be made even worse, will order twice-daily health monitoring of anyone traveling to Florida from West Africa, or, as it's known colloquially, "slumming".

Florida is also reserving the right to do, well, whatever they want to anyone in a higher-risk category. Well, for ebola. Florida's still not going to do shit for all the people at a higher risk for all kind of other shit just because they happen to live in Florida.

Basically, all the people frustrated that they can't get a blanket travel ban on West Africa decided to find another way to not keep us safe from ebola, while actively harming the people who are willing to actually go to West Africa and help people there. Congratulations, assholes! You found a way.