I’ve posted about this on Twitter, but I only amended my Romanticon post to include word of the quarantine.
However, given the fundraiser I just discovered, I’m copying the amendment into this post so it gets more attention and adding the fundraising link below.
Frankly, no one who goes to to any convention should have to fear coming down with something as horrific as ebola.
First: Quarantine, the Origins Of
Quarantine comes from the Italian word quarantq, meaning 40: the number of days you had to wait before your ship could enter Venice. It was used to prevent spread of the plague. It didn’t work so well back then, mostly because disease transmission was so poorly understood, so that’s why all the gondolas in Venice are painted black.
Jaid’s Message and Axl’s Message
Jaid Black posted a notice about potential exposure to ebola. Dallas nurse Amber Vinson, who now is confirmed to have ebola, was in Akron during the same time period that Romanticon was held.
According to news reports, the infected woman, a healthcare worker who treated “Patient Zero,” was in Akron visiting family. She did not show signs of infection until already in Akron. The CDC has confirmed that she was definitely symptomatic while traveling from Cleveland to Dallas on October 13 so if you know anyone else on that flight please have them contact the CDC IMMEDIATELY.
Romanticon attendees (other than those on flight 1143) have nothing to worry about… according to the CDC. As they haven’t exactly been forthcoming with information, and we have no idea where in Akron this woman was, I am asking EC employees and Romanticon attendees in general, to self-monitor their health for the next 3 weeks. A list of symptoms can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/
Further, two of the Cavemen, Axl and Taylor (who are also both EC authors), were on the same flight as Vinson. After consulting with the CDC, they are both in self-imposed quarantine for 21 days.
My hope is that everyone will be fine, but I’m sure thoughts and prayers are welcome. Axl gives his contact information in his facebook post if you wish to reach out to him.
What we do know:
- They were apparently sitting very close to nurse Vinson on the same flight. (See Daily Mail link below for pics.)
- They feel it is in the safety of all concerned if they are conservative and self-quarantine. I applaud this, but it’s not cheap. (As to whether or not I’d contribute, the question is rhetorical, sadly.)
- Unlike some of us, they don’t have the sort of job where they can work from home.
If you’re inclined to either contribute or spread the word, please do so.
I know there are reasons to not support GoFundMe because of their policies; I’m sure if you contact Axl there are other means to help if that’s an issue for you.
My Own Experience With Quarantining
When I was at Apple, I came down with shingles. One of my colleagues was pregnant, and as shingles/varicella is of particular risk to the unborn, I was asked to work from home until it cleared up.
Now, shingles is not particularly contagious. Truly. When kids have chicken pox, it’s the way kids interact with the world more than the contagiousness that’s the problem.
But I respected that, and worked from home for about a week. This meant I had to miss the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference that year. Again, it was best for all concerned that I did so.
However, I had a job where I could work at home. Not everyone is so fortunate.
Special Comment Policy for This Post
I’d rather not debate the merits of the fundraiser in the comments. Respectful questions are fine.