OK Teacher To Be Quarantined for Going Nowhere Near Ebola

In yet another victory for ignorant know-nothingism, an Oklahoma teacher will be quarantined for 21 days when she gets back from a trip to Rwanda, a country that is thousands of miles from the Ebola epidemic in Africa. But hundreds of people demanded it in a petition, so they’re giving in to ignorance and xenophobia.

An Oklahoma teacher has agreed to place herself under a 21-day quarantine after she returns from a trip to Africa, even though she is going to a country that has not had any cases of Ebola and is located thousands of miles away from the hot zone in the western portion of the continent.

The teacher at Blackwell Elementary School, whose name has not been released, will be going to Rwanda in early November for a mission trip with her church. Rwanda is Ebola-free and located in central and eastern Africa. Oklahoma is much closer to Texas — where several cases of Ebola have been diagnosed — than Rwanda is to the countries in West Africa that have had Ebola outbreaks.

Nevertheless, as Kim Passoth at KOCO Oklahoma City reported, more than 400 people have signed an online petition asking Blackwell Elementary to keep the teacher away for three weeks upon her return. Three weeks is the time period it takes for Ebola symptoms to appear. Without symptoms, a person is not contagious.

Reflecting the paranoia around Ebola, Reba Newton, the mother of a child at Blackwell Elementary, told KOCO, “If the school should decide to let her come back before the 21-day quarantine period, I will remove my daughter from Blackwell schools.”

“My daughter has multiple health problems and she is at risk for infection, and that is without adding something like Ebola to it,” Newton said.

You’re much closer to people who had Ebola in Texas than that teacher will be to anyone who has Ebola, you moron. Can we please stop indulging stupidity and paranoia? Just once?

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  • Sastra

    As the circle of suspect locations grows larger and larger, It’s starting to sound like it’s going to become relatively simple to get 3 weeks paid leave.

  • reddiaperbaby1942

    Can we please stop indulging stupidity and paranoia? Just once?

    Sorry, no. Can’t be done.

  • jeevmon

    Blame the Mercator projection – a lot of people think Africa is a lot smaller than it actually is. Also, they think it’s a country. Plus, this happened in Oklahoma.

  • Jared James

    I once traveled to Pocatello, Idaho while there was a cholera epidemic in Haiti. Surprisingly, no one suggested I take a three-week vacation when I got back.

  • matty1

    Can we please stop indulging stupidity and paranoia? Just once?

    But without stupidity and paranoia some people would have nothing left.

  • raven

    The ignorance is stunning.

    BTW, Oklahoma, the US center for Ebola cases is right next door to you, in Dallas Texas. No one from Texas should be allowed in without a 21 day quarantine.

    The other center, currently active, is New York City. Quick, cancel all flights from NYC to Oklahoma and don’t issue any more visas.

  • tubi

    Something I’ve been wondering about all of these quarantines is whether these people are getting paid while they aren’t able to work. I assume* this teacher will continue to receive pay during 21 days, and that the district will have to hire a substitute to cover the classes, meaning they’ll be paying double for that period. That’s not fiscally conservative.

    *I assume this because if it were me, and the district said I couldn’t come in and that I wouldn’t be paid, I’d tell them to blow it out their ass.

  • dhall

    The petition signers are probably all voters, and they have kids. So the stupid and the paranoia are even worse infectious diseases–the kids will contract them from their parents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    OKC is closer to Dallas than San Antonio is. Oklahoma should be quarantined.

  • raven

    Oklahoma man confesses to beheading teen

    The adanews ‎- 1 day ago

    … Jacob Crockett, who was decapitated in his apartment in the 400 block of South Oakdale. … The victim’s head was mostly severed from his body, Dickerson said. … had been watching YouTube videos about Christian beliefs and the Book of Matthew. … He was a student at Northern Oklahoma College.

    Travel alert!!!

    It might not be a good idea for anyone to travel to Oklahoma right now. They have a lot of wild eyed religious fanatics from a cult known for its violence, terrorism, and ignorance. They are called…fundie xians.

    A day or so ago, some college student guy described as a xian religious zealot, cut off his friend’s head because of alleged witchcraft. It didn’t take long for the xians to steal that one from the Moslems. They always borrow the worst.

    It works the way you expect. A Moslem kook in Oklahoma cuts off someone’s head at his former job after getting fired = terrorism. A xian religious kook in Oklahoma cuts off someone’s head for alleged witchcraft and it barely makes the local news.

    Did you know xianity is the source of all morality? LOL, even they are starting to realize how absurd that statement is.

  • raven

    …more than 400 people have signed an online petition asking Blackwell Elementary to keep the teacher away for three weeks upon her return.

    Online petitions are useless. How many of those 400 people live in the school district and have kids in school. I could get millions in an online petition to demand they ban the Shapeshifting Space Reptiles from the school.

    It might be one or two people making a huge racket due to paranoia and ignorance.

    I wouldn’t cave in without at least calling a few meetings. This is a teachable moment. OTOH, school boards are elected and in a state with ignorant and frightened people, you can end up with a school board of ignorant and frightened people. Plus schools, depend on voted bond issues. If they lose support, they don’t get voter approved.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Can we please stop indulging stupidity and paranoia? Just once?

    Even if you do, the rest of the world won’t believe it. We’ll think it’s just another one of your tricks.

  • John Pieret

    Wait a minute! She is going to Rwanda on a mission trip with her (no doubt Christian) church. Won’t their god protect her from Ebola while she is doing “god’s work”?

    I guess in far away places like Africa, over there someplace, god can’t be trusted to be able to find her to protect her.

  • Larry Kearney


    Where the derp comes sweepin’ down the plains.

    And the ‘ragin fools can sure be dumb, When the the derp comes from the lack of brains

    Ooooook-lahoma, Ev;rt day I sit and wonder, wonder how the whole state manages to breathe.

  • coragyps

    Rwanda is further from Liberia that Los Angeles is from New York…..

  • illdoittomorrow

    John Pieret at 13:

    “Wait a minute! She is going to Rwanda on a mission trip with her (no doubt Christian) church. Won’t their god protect her from Ebola while she is doing “god’s work”?”

    Yabbut the LARD works in mysterious ways, see, and He could call her home (i.e., kill) her at any time. ‘Cuz that what He does to the people He loves and protects. And you should be grateful for it!

  • illdoittomorrow

    Oh, and Africa, in addition to being Over There, is All The Same. So are the people in it. /s

  • dingojack

    To be fair Ed — Not a hell of a lot of Oklahomans have been to war in Africa….




    There were outbreaks of Ebola in neighbouring Congo (2001, 2002, 2003, 2007 & 2012) and Uganda (2000, 2007, 2011, 2012 (twice)) [since 2000, see here for more detail] In the case of the last Ugandan outbreak four years ago, it was about as far from Kigali as the Kansas border is from Oklahoma City.

    The current outbreak is about as far from Rwanda as Oklahoma is from British Columbia or Newfoundland.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    This is just an excuse to keep her from spreading ISIS, which while not in Rwanda directly, is in the same general hemisphere.

  • iangould

    “It works the way you expect. A Moslem kook in Oklahoma cuts off someone’s head at his former job after getting fired = terrorism. A xian religious kook in Oklahoma cuts off someone’s head for alleged witchcraft and it barely makes the local news.”

    And because it happens in Africa, Christian militias in the Central African Republic beheading thousands of Muslims doesn’t even make the news.

  • wscott

    As fun as it is to pick on Oklahoma, this has happened in other states too, even Maine FFS. It’s beyond moronic. And if you think this is (partly) GOP fear-mongering to link Ebola to Africa and therefore Obama and therefore Democrats right before an election…that just means you’ve been paying attention.

    @ tubi #7: CDC guidance is that quarantined patients are supposed to be compensated for lost wages, but it’s not entirely clear how that’s supposed to be implemented. Some are arguing tht means 100% of your lost salary, while others are arguing it just means a minimum/living wage and others are interpreting it as covering your mortgage & utilities for 3 weeks. And of course there’s no guarantee your employer is going to hold your job open for 3 weeks. Basically it’s crap, but exactly how crappy is largely left to state & local government to interpret. Yes another astounding example of what today’s GOP mean when they talk about small government.

  • http://dharmaubuntu.wordpress.com/ Aspect Sign

    I’m in upstate NY and have been only a couple hundred miles from the nearest Ebola case. shouldn’t I be quarantined? A home quarantine would be awesome, i have a bunch of work to do on the house and the weather is getting kinda cold.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    You know what they say; You can never be too safe or too stupid.

  • eric

    It’s not even consistent stupidity: nobody’s calling for the other church members who go to be quarantined. So there’s going to be 10-20 people running around the community after visiting Rwanda, just not her. Sheer genius.

  • DaveL

    That’s like putting Minneapolis under quarantine because of an outbreak of Dengue Fever in Nicaragua.

  • wscott

    Great editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine:


    “This approach…is not scientifically based, is unfair and unwise, and will impede essential efforts to stop these awful outbreaks of Ebola disease at their source, which is the only satisfactory goal. The governors’ action is like driving a carpet tack with a sledgehammer: it gets the job done but overall is more destructive than beneficial.”

  • fentex

    I’ve seen it reported Nigeria has excellent rates of survival from Ebola as well, mostly because of, it was posited, aggressive hydration of patients by IV and mouth.

  • raven

    Kentucky Teacher Resigns Amid Parents’ Ebola Fears: Report


    Posted: 11/03/2014 5:11 pm EST Updated: 10 minutes ago

    By Steve Bittenbender

    LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov 3 (Reuters) – A teacher at a Louisville, Kentucky, Catholic school has resigned rather than take paid leave after parents raised concerns about her trip to Kenya, half a continent away from the Ebola epidemic in western Africa, WDRB Channel 41 TV reported.

    Susan Sherman, a religious education teacher who is also a registered nurse, was recently on a mission in Kenya in eastern Africa. When she returned, St. Margaret Mary school requested she take a precautionary 21-day leave and produce a health note from her doctor, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Louisville.

    Sherman, who taught religion to seventh- and eighth-graders, chose to resign instead, according to WDRB….


    Cthlulhu, there are some dumb people in the USA.

  • freehand

    And yet these same folks will nod their heads in sage agreement when a scientifically literate person is called an “alarmist” for trying to educate them about global warming…


    If you want to control the sheep’s fears, I guess you have to control the TV news & talk shows.

  • tbp1

    There was an article in the paper today about a local woman (Louisville KY) who resigned her job at a Catholic school because, after a mission trip to Kenya, she was basically treated like a pariah by some parents and even other faculty and staff at her school. Rather than take the offered leave, she quit in protest. (Apparently she is an position not to need the job.) Kenya is, of course, thousands of miles away from the nearest ebola cases. It’s like quarantining someone after a trip to New York City because of a disease in Los Angeles.

    To some extent I get the urge to be overcautious, given how nasty the disease is, but come on, there’s a limit.

    For decades now we’ve been denigrating knowledge and expertise, and demonizing scientists (at least those who tell us things we don’t want to hear, like about global warming). This is what we get for that.