Quarantine as defined by dictionary.com is… 1 – a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease.
I wonder if ‘quarantine’ is even understood by ordinary people today. It seems the drug companies do not want people to understand. After all, we are to ‘soldier on’ according to a medication advert shown on TV here in Western Australia… it is a medication that is supposed to enable someone with the ‘flu to go to work and soldier on.
They might feel better, somewhat, but how many others does that one person infect?
Reasons to quarantine yourself
A local newspaper headline recently said…
WA flu deaths up 925 per cent amid brutal and early start to season.
Angela Pownall: The West Australian, reported.
Waiting for a prescription, I stood behind two women discussing their young children suffering with the ‘flu. Although one woman’s child had been given the ‘flu shot, it had not protected her and the child had been very ill. With little relief she was also treated with Tamiflu. (A prevention and a treatment.)
The other woman’s child was in hospital. Their description of their children’s ‘flu symptoms was vastly different from the ‘flu I remember in the past.
A recent update on a news programme here in Western Australia stated that the vaccines recently used are probably no longer effective because the virus has mutated, already.
This is a reason for quarantine. One child taking it to school potentially could infect many others.
There is another ‘bug’ or virus knocking people down at this time. An infection causing virulent vomiting and diarrhoea (Australian English spelling’) Other than some friends who have suffered it, my family doctor asked me at a recent appointment if I had symptoms, and explained how prevalent it is.
There are quarantine rules in the Bible.
And I cannot help but see how the laws that were given about quarantine, were given by a merciful and loving God.
Take heed in an outbreak of leprosy, that you diligently observe and do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you…
I looked up leprosy, wondering why (as mentioned in the previous verse) Miriam was put out of the camp for a week.
It was to prevent the spread of the disease.
(The rules for ‘diagnosing’ leprosy are given in detail in Leviticus 13.)
Many English translations of the Bible translate tzaraath as “leprosy,” a confusion that derives from the use of the koine cognate “Λέπρα” (which can mean any disease causing scaly skin) in the Septuagint. Ancient sources such as the Talmud (Sifra 63) make clear that tzaraath refers to various types of lesions or stains associated with ritual impurity and occurring on cloth, leather, or houses, as well as skin. It may sometimes be a symptom of the disease described in this article, but has many other causes, as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosy (near the end, under the sub-heading Bible.)
So, all those restrictions would determine whether it was leprosy, with all the stigma, and poor conditions associated with being cast out of society, not to mention the complications of the disease itself. If it should turn out to be leprosy, then the spread of the disease was contained.
In this day and age
In Western cultures, leprosy is not such a common threat. However, with the many ‘plagues’ – like this year’s ‘deadly’ ‘flu outbreak in Western Australia and the ‘D and V’ outbreak and other rapidly spreading diseases, we would be wise to heed the instruction to quarantine ourselves.
Prevention is better than cure, quarantine yourself… please.
Besides, some people have what is called a ‘compromised immune system. Something you might recover from in a week, might make them seriously ill, or even die.