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IPFS News Link • Pandemic

Forced Quarantines Spark Confusion and Worries About Precedent


Before leaving, the nurses distributed a four-page, Xeroxed mandatory quarantine order, barring all of them from leaving their home in North Salem for two weeks.

The pages included a long list of rules. More than 1,700 people are living under such mandatory quarantine across the state, said Gary Holmes, the spokesman for the New York Department of Health.

Don't go anywhere, especially not shopping centers, drugstores, grocery stores, theaters or religious services.

No visitors.

Don't share beds or spend a lot of time in common areas of the house.

Call if you need food. Your trash will be handled separately.

Expect random visits from the Health Department to ensure you are complying.

"It has been strange — we had no idea that it was going to happen," said Mr. Roberts, who designs and installs kitchens for a living. He tried and failed to get consistent answers to his many questions.

The coronavirus is forcing Americans into unexplored territory, in this case understanding and accepting the loss of freedom associated with a quarantine. Even if many people grasp the need for precautions, managing the upheaval caused by such extreme measures is an experience few have faced.