An e-mailed notice / invitation was just received from Change.org, America's leading online social justice forum. Through it our healthcare professionals are calling for a national, unilateral quarantine for everyone; on those that are ill AND those that aren't.
As of the day of the petition's discovery it had 129,279 supporters. It seeks 150,000 and will surely garner even more before its campaign ends. This is the furtherest our efforts have EVER gone in modern times to combat anything - especially something that is in fact so common / ordinary. Those proposing the measure need to re-evaluate what they're asking for one more time. By the way, this is the demand:
D. — Doctors, nurses, and physician assistants on the frontlines of coronavirus need your help. They see hospitals as ill-prepared for the wave of patients who will need care. The biggest thing that can stop hospitals from overflowing is social distancing. That’s why they’re calling on President Trump to issue a national quarantine. "A national quarantine is the best way to slow the spread of the disease," they write. If you agree, sign their petition to help contain coronavirus.
US Healthcare Providers for Federal Action Against COVID-19
129,279 have signed K R’s petition. Let’s get to 150,000!
Sign now with a click
March 15, 2020
*FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION*
To President Trump, Vice President Pence and the Congress of the United States of America:
We are physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists in the United States of America on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We aim to end the crisis quickly, with minimal loss of life while keeping our healthcare workers safe. To this end we urgently implore the following three actions:
1. Immediately implement a national quarantine. This includes closing non-essential businesses and a quarantine of all citizens, with allowances for seeking healthcare and essential resources such as food and medications. Such quarantines have been implemented in several other countries around the world experiencing this crisis. The evidence shows that without access to widespread COVID-19 testing, a national quarantine is the best way to slow the spread of the disease. While a national quarantine will be economically straining, the pandemic requires shared sacrifice as a nation to contain the spread of COVID-19. We must take immediate action.
2. Emergently produce and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers. Healthcare providers cannot care for patients without adequate personal protective equipment to prevent infection. Many hospital systems across the country are projected to run out of PPE quickly as the crisis worsens. Without sufficient PPE, we cannot safely provide care, more healthcare providers will become infected, and patient care will suffer.
3. Urgently increase access to testing for COVID-19. The current limitations on testing patients for COVID-19 mean we cannot appropriately triage and treat our patients. It means we are inefficiently and ineffectively using our limited PPE supply and increasing exposure to healthcare workers. We must be able to identify and quarantine those who are mildly infected or have only minimal symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to high-risk populations. We need rapid and widely accessible testing to care for these patients and slow the spread of COVID-19.
This is a defining moment in our history and in the leadership of our country. An immediate national quarantine has been proven repeatedly to save lives worldwide. The protection of healthcare workers and adequate testing will help ensure that the healthcare system does not become overwhelmed as the crisis worsens and allow us to direct medical care appropriately and efficiently. We will clearly see the benefits of these decisive measures over the coming weeks. As healthcare providers, we cannot fight this pandemic without your help.
Articles 2 and 3 in their proposal are reasonable and in fact vital. Of course we want our healthcare workers, with having the highest exposure to the virus, to be safe. And yes; the proactive approach to early and frequent testing for COVID-19 will do the most to check its spread. However, having us couped up like the chickens we've become will do nothing of substantive effect except to drive us crazy. There are not enough carriers yet to warrant this. Certainly no one would build a natural immunity to the virus by not encountering it.
This is but another variation of the Coronavirus that saw its predecessors in SARS and H1-N1. Those outbreaks were more widely spread, more sickening in the severity of the symptoms inflicted, and more lethal by far. They claimed many more - thousands more in victims.
In addition to the social and economic strain imposed by a national quaratine it many generate constitutional controversies and attached law suits. Should our freedoms be so curtailed when there is no matching precedent to cite? Remember, our generation has never faced such a restriction in The United States, even in the light of demonstrably worse causes.
First, you can weigh in for or against The National Quarantine by e-mailing your Congress and Senate members. Contact The President via e-mail as well. (You can also start / join an opposing petition through Change.org or Care2.com if they'll be objective and not discriminate on ideological grounds; but that's less likely.)