Monday, 13 October 2014

Ebola travel ban: Imagine it's your friend or relative

Here is an interesting photo from Facebook. At first glance it makes sense that Ebola should not be helped to spread around the world. Let's think about it a bit more. Closing borders for any reason means border checks. We can't check for Ebola in other countries so the checks have to be done here and then we have to make sure it isn't cholera or malaria or lots of other diseases.

We have to be prepared to fly patients back to where they came from so we would have to protect the airplane staff. We have seen the extensive personal protective equipment that is needed for this and it would make for a strange extra flight because I wouldn't book a seat on that one.

Then we have to turn away British subjects returning with the disease. Where do they go? Back to where they came in order to die? Imagine that is your friend or relative. Do you still want to share this photo?

Disease doesn't stop at national borders. Do we stop flights from particular areas? What about the possibility that a sick person has taken two flights to get to Britain. Do we want to stop all border movement?

My first thought was that if my relative was coming back to the country and was ill then I want them to receive care. This photo tells us to let them die. It's not a nice photo and it's not nice to share.

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