Of TB and Mankind

So there’s some guy who is diagnosed with a hyper-resistant form of tuberculosis but gets on a plane anyway to get married in Greece.  The CDC tracks him down in Italy and tells him under no circumstances should he fly back home.  He does it anyway.  Now he’s in quarantine back in Atlanta.

For trying to emulate a modern-day Mary Mallon, the guys’ an asshole and he’s put people’s lives at risk because of his assholiness.  But I sense that we’re about to embark on a much deeper problem than that caused by a single idiot, that will change our lives:  Legislation to restrict unhealthy travelers in order to “protect” us from guys like him.

I’m worried about the fear-mongering aspect of this event and where it will lead.  NBC Dataline will write an exposé about it, followed by Fox News and Time Magazine.  Pretty soon Congress will start proposing restrictions on dangerously unhealthy people.  And then the first time a potential flu pandemic or some other medical scare hits the airwaves additional restrictions will be applied to what will be slippery slope legislation.

The Patriot Act was sold on protecting us from terrorists.  It has been commandeered into a vehicle by which we can be searched without warrant and have our phones secretly tapped.  In Buffalo, we’re about to have our travel to the closest economically prosperous region to the area – Ontario – burdened by another layer of not so cheap paperwork.  All this to protect us.

I can envision the same thing happening with the U.S. version of the Contagious Disease Act as well.

We are on the cusp of becoming our own pariah.

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