Man coughing

There’s an interesting article about a guy incarcerated (in truth, although he hasn’t been charged) because he broke his agreement to take his antibiotics and wear a mask in public.

He didn’t, so they basically put him in a hole in Arizona until he either dies or his body clears the infection.

Now, I’m not a fan of stomping people’s rights, but the treatment he’s undergoing seems appropriate for the most part. Not being allowed a shower, TV, or computer seems overkill — but locking him up because he was posing a threat to all the people he was coughing around at the Circle K sounds like a good idea to this nursing student. This behavior is a big no-no according to the CDC guidelines for travelers.

The guy claims he was never told the extent of his illness, or not following the prescribed treatment. I find this difficult to believe. I know in the real world not every single thing is always communicated to a patient in terms of side effects, possible complications, or interactions. But I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that since he was sporting a case of extremely resistant TB, sticking to his antibiotics came up on a couple of occasions. Also, the wearing of the mask looking like a robber? How many robbers go around with a surgical mask on? Even accounting for his dual-citizenship and possible cultural bias, it’s a hard sell that he didn’t “get it”.

I’m thinking he deserves to be kept behind doors for so cavalierly risking everyone around him. What if it had been Ebola instead of TB? I’m okay with losing some civil liberties when images of Typhoid Mary keep popping into my head.

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