DANVILLE, KY — A central Kentucky hospital was surrounded with marked squad cars and police officers over a case of varicella — also known as chicken pox.
The dramatic scene occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, August 1st, 2015. Concerned of a “public health risk,” administrators at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center called for an all-hands-on-deck response to lock down the facility, complete with turning away incoming ambulances and “containing” patients inside the hospital, WKYT reported. Police surrounded the building and strung caution tape across the entrances.
The lockdown became an all-day ordeal. The patient walked into the hospital around 1:30 p.m., the lockdown commenced soon afterward, and was not lifted until shortly before 11:30 p.m. The patient tested positive for two strains of adult chicken pox.
In a public statement, the hospital said, “Emergency Department and Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center followed appropriate policies and procedures to assure that there was no risk to the community. We worked closely with local and state health officials and the Center for Disease Control throughout the entire process.”
Only a generation ago the disease was considered so commonplace and mundane that families intentionally mixed children together with so that they could contract the disease and develop a lifelong immunity. Today, society is considerably more paranoid, and the role of government has evolved to a place where it compels vaccinations and imposes police lockdowns.