I had the same feeling.
I can remember sitting in my office listening to the radio when Magic Johnson revealed that he had AIDS. There were athletes that didn’t want to play against him. They were afraid of getting infected by him. There were many people calling for quarantines of AIDS patients.
I had some concern about exposure by casual contact. I’m from Louisiana and Texas. Mosquito borne disease is common (West Nile Virus, equine encephalitis). I was more concerned with drug resistant diseases developing. AIDS patients take huge doses of antibiotics. When antibiotics aren’t prescribed or taken properly, microbes are exposed to minute amounts of antibiotics and can become resistant. Then we end up with things like MRSA.
Other things can happen. My wife’s aunt worked with an AIDS patient several years ago. Eventually, he died of tuberculosis. Which he didn’t know he had. He had tested negative for it. You see, because he had no immune system, he didn’t have the antibodies and tests showed negative. His autopsy showed that TB killed him. And everyone he worked with had been exposed.
It’s not a pleasant concept – locking someone up against their will. But, the public deserves protection. And when AIDS first became prevalent, so little was known about it, caution was the right response.
Having written the Pandemic Flu Response plan for my plant, the public should become aware of the real potential of virus spread diseases that the local, state, and federal governments are preparing for. If you think Huck’s statement of caution is concerning, wait to see what will happen if the Bird Flu begins human to human transmission.