When I arrived in Mainland China and in Hong Kong last year, I had forgotten the Chinese government was fighting to contain the SARS virus. To arrest the spread of the contagion, there were men and women in hazmat suits standing in the terminal. They stopped each person randomly to look you in the eye for signs of illness then they followed up with an electronic thermometer to check your temperature. If they even suspected you were infected you were pulled aside and whisked out of the terminal.
They did this again when you moved through immigration and had your passport and visa checked. I didn’t mind. I didn’t see anyone complain either. It’s China, can you really complain? Unlike the fractured impoverished warring nations in West Africa, China has the wealth and power to mandate such acts.
I wanted to take a picture of the process but I knew better. Despite having a secure sense of self, I am not delusional enough to believe I am anyone the US government would be bartering to get back so I walk the line. Thus my Instagram photojournalism career has yet to take off.
Having experienced life in the hot zone, my personal ethics are one must humanely do EVERYTHING required to insure personal and public safety. I don’t mind the intrusion. Thereby, I was shocked to read the news about physician and NBC media personality Dr. Nancy Snyderman disregarding the medical protocol. Dr. Snyderman and her crew had come into contact with the Ebola virus, leaving her cameraman, 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo, infected. The asymptomatic crew members, including the doctor herself, were supposed to be in a self-imposed quarantine for 21 days to insure public safety.
To read that she would risk mass exposure because her ego reigned supreme and she believed herself entitled to have some soup from her favorite restaurant is infuriating. As a medical professional she should know to do the right thing. As a multimillion dollar corporately backed media darling, she understands the power and impact of her behavior. Soon NBC will require her to go on the infamous celebrity apology PR tour but it’s too late, character has been revealed, the damage is done.
This is why self-reporting is unreliable. People will almost always lean toward acting in their own self-interest despite consequence. I am not for big government but in cases of pandemic, the government must step in. I don’t personally believe anyone has the RIGHT to spread a fatal contagion to millions, particularly because they don’t wish to be inconvenienced. Walk the line bitches.
That’s my two yen.