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S01.E01: Pilot

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When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced. Trying to keep the peace on the streets is police officer Lex Carnahan, who has quickly risen through the ranks of the Atlanta PD. But Lex’s job becomes even harder when he learns that his longtime girlfriend, Jana, and his best friend and fellow officer Jake, are trapped within the cordoned area. Also quarantined within viral ground zero is 17-year-old Teresa, who is eight months pregnant and now separated from her boyfriend on the other side; Katie Frank, an elementary school teacher now placed on lockdown with her entire class, including her young son; and CDC researcher Dr. Victor Cannerts, the doctor who initially made the controversial call to quarantine the area, and who is now racing to find a cure for the virus. On the outside, Dr. Sabine Lommers leads the government efforts to contain the outbreak, and asks for Lex’s help in enforcing the cordon – which grows increasingly difficult as the public trust deteriorates.

 

 

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Maybe it's just because it's on the CW, but I'm expecting around episode 2 or 3 there will be Sci-Fi or supernatural plot elements introduced.

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I liked it. Honestly this is what I was hoping for when Fear the walking dead started. I'm interested in the reaction of the authorities and the CDC to a lethal outbreak like this in a longer form than a 2 hour movie. I like that there are some regular civilians in the mix too. It's a good blend so far of civilians and non civilians. For a pilot episode I thought it did a decent job of introducing things. It also helps that I've liked Claudia black since Farscape.

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I wish the characters were more likeable - Lex's girlfriend who is notorious for having commitment issues and blaming them on her social anxiety irritated me immensely. The teacher stuck in the hospital with the kids, including her own didn't ring true in that really, do hospitals and schools even allow this sort of event - singing to the sick people - anymore?

 

Maybe I am too cynical but I can't believe putting up an electric fence wouldn't be an immediate call to riot.

 

I hope it picks up.

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Not too bad.. but that hospital sure had a lot of empty corridors considering how many people would have been under lock-down inside. Did I miss the part where they evacuated the thousands of people who work there and all the patients?

 

Speaking of unbelievable situations included to advance the plot because they couldn't think of another way to do so.... major metropolitan hospitals are very big confusing complexes. It seems unlikely that:

A) School_Chaperone_Momma would have even FOUND the isolation unit where the dead were taken. Especially without...

B) running into at least dozens of people between where she was and where it was, all of whom might have had more likely ideas of where the kids got off to. And

C) If she had that much trouble getting into the secure card-access-only area, how on earth did she think the kids got in there? Wasn't it FAR more likely that they were somewhere else?

 

Her determination to get into an area that the kids almost certainly couldn't have, in order to look for them inside, made NO sense.

 

I can't help it.. I was rolling my eyes so hard at that whole contrived way for her to see the dead that it took me right out of the show. Not that I was really into it even before that.

 

In other news... why were the police so determined NOT to put their face shields down? WTHeck?

Edited by slothgirl
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Wow. This show is hard to watch because the production values are so bad. It's shot like a commercial, all the centered overly composed closeups, clunky dialogue, forced performances, indicating. Ugh. Fear the Walking Dead is barely tolerable so I was hoping for an improvement but this is a straight-up cheesefest.

Edited by numbnut
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I wanted to like this show but I hate when people act irrationally or stupid to advance the plot. For example, people not keeping their face shields up so the infected can sneeze on them, people not keeping their distance from each other, the teacher willing to break protocol to get into a secured area her brats had no way of getting into, people immediately rioting when they quarantined the city, etc. I get they were trying to go for The Crazies, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Andromeda Strain (the original movies), but I couldn't suspend my disbelief or care about the fate of these fools.

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but I couldn't suspend my disbelief or care about the fate of these fools.

 

This. I will give them props for having the macho male lead completely lose it when he realizes he probably is going to die. That is unusual. But good for you show.  Teacher lady annoyed me so much in the first hour, I want to see her bleeding out her nose. If she can't get that they don't pull you off the school bus but for a serious situation, we need to let her genetic material be eliminated.

 

Also, what is it with the disgusting nature of this show seeming to want us all to throw up. Did I really need to see patient zero throwing up blood again and again and again? Got it.

 

Every show like this has stupid people. I guess maybe without them there wouldn't be a show and true, during the Ebola crisis there were super stupid people, but still... hate to see it on my screen.

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This show was filled with my biggest pet peeve when watching shows and movies about a virus spread: people who sneeze/cough without covering their mouths! Especially when they do it in other people's face like.....really?! You had all that free space to spit all over, but no...right in the face of the lone person....standing 5 feet away from you.

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So. Mixed reviews. I might watch later, but I think I'll finish reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel first.

Edited by shapeshifter
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On the one hand, to have a Syrian guy as the patient 0 is just over the top, considering the whole migration crisis and anxieties about muslims in Europe right now. On the other hand, I'm so happy that Chris Wood/Jake doesn't wear a mask. He's too handsome for that.   

Edited by skotnikov
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Yeah, I have to admit, the patient zero being muslim and also apparently committing bio-terrorism was a wee bit heavy handed.

 

I actually liked the cops being idiots about face masks because it actually speaks to a real problem, that cops in general are not college educated scientists and aren't trained to handle or understand a quarantine situation. I'm certainly not calling all cops dumb but really, this is about the reaction I'd expect from a few guys who graduated high school and became police officers

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Yes, the nonsense about kids wandering about and Mom acting hateful was a bit much. It made her seem like she thought she's privileged because she's pretty. 

The pretty cop going yellow about disease wasn't very appetizing to watch but it is one way real people are. 

Lex should dump her. That's the correct end of that story. Not much room for convincing development there.

The rioting doesn't break out until day 13, so I"m a little mystified about complaints about how quickly it developed. 

 

The bioterrorism angle is hysterical BS. It's wealthy governments that can do that kind of thing. 

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Lex should dump her. That's the correct end of that story

 

Seriously - there's nothing worse than a girl with committment issues who plays the "I have panic attacks! OMG I have a mental illness! I will say I am moving in and then turn on a dime! And YOU HAVE TO STAND BY ME! And no one can judge me! Because I can't help it! Anyone who thinks I need to grow up and be an adult just hates people with social anxiety!" card.

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On the one hand, to have a Syrian guy as the patient 0 is just over the top, considering the whole migration crisis and anxieties about muslims in Europe right now.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that, given Hollywood's political correctness.

 

The bioterrorism angle is hysterical BS. It's wealthy governments that can do that kind of thing. 

Not necessarily. I remember seeing a documentary that showed how easy it is to bioengineer now-a-days (sorry, I no longer recall any details). In addition, there are governments willing to sell their bioweapons and others that have collapsed and lost track of their wares.

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I was hoping for something in the "Last Ship" vein where the bads are super bad and the goods are super good. There's always space in my lineup for something like that. A little character development, maybe some explosions, very entertaining (ymmv of course).

 

I think it could go in that direction -- perhaps improve from the pilot.  I'm hoping that the Syrian - bio terrorism angle is a ruse and there's something else behind it.

 

 

Maybe it's just because it's on the CW, but I'm expecting around episode 2 or 3 there will be Sci-Fi or supernatural plot elements introduced.

 

Me too! But I hope not.

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This show was filled with my biggest pet peeve when watching shows and movies about a virus spread: people who sneeze/cough without covering their mouths! Especially when they do it in other people's face like.....really?! You had all that free space to spit all over, but no...right in the face of the lone person....standing 5 feet away from you.

 

I know!  And the person five feet away doesn't bother to protect themselves either!  Everyone's just la-dee-dahing around with their facemasks off or their visors up like it's the danger of a slight head cold, when in reality I'd be taking more care than they are for an actual head cold.

 

So. Mixed reviews. I might watch later, but I think I'll finish reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel first.

 

Oh I loved that book!  Now I wish that was the movie I was watching.  Or maybe they'd just ruin it.

 

Seriously - there's nothing worse than a girl with committment issues who plays the "I have panic attacks! OMG I have a mental illness! I will say I am moving in and then turn on a dime! And YOU HAVE TO STAND BY ME! And no one can judge me! Because I can't help it! Anyone who thinks I need to grow up and be an adult just hates people with social anxiety!" card.

 

Ah somehow I missed what her issue was, I thought she was just a garden-variety flight risk.  Well to be fair that was a stupid TV-creative-license portrayal of someone with anxiety disorder or whatever her panic deal was. 

 

I watched it because Claudia Black is in it, and I love her.  It wasn't great but I'll probably hang in there for another couple episodes - in part because this has a kind of a fun Sharknado quality about it.

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There were holes in this show that you could drive a Mac truck through, but hey... I'll give it another shot.  First episodes aren't usually outstanding.

 

I do wish they hadn't made the Claudia Black character so foofy.  And I wish they'd given her shoes that fit.  You can see they're too big when she's sitting down with Lex.  Small stuff, I know.  ;)

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I'm in. I live in a suburb outside Atlanta so I'm partially watching to see what I recognize. I love end of days shows and while this is far from perfect, I will watch anyway. At least I don't hate anyone yet.

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Ah somehow I missed what her issue was, I thought she was just a garden-variety flight risk.  Well to be fair that was a stupid TV-creative-license portrayal of someone with anxiety disorder or whatever her panic deal was.

 

Oh they didn't explain it at all other than her saying she had a panic attack to her girl buddy and that it wasn't the first time, and Lex implying to his buddy that it's not the first time they've done the move in dance.

 

It's not that I mind the idea of showing someone with anxiety, its that she was so blase and entitled about it that made me instantly despise her. Really, the guy organized a van and inconvienced other people so she could "tee hee hee panic attack no!" at the very last minute,

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Liked the virus stuff.  But, too many of the characters were cliché...

 

1.  Girl with relationship problem.

2.  Pregnant girl. 

3.  Interracial couple.

4.  Stupid teens.

 

The anxiety girl, the teen runaways and the teacher with kids we could do without and added nothing to this story.

 

The over rioting crowd was silly.  The kids wandering away was too.  The main cop getting all girly about being contained in the hospital was bizarre.  Did he blame someone else for his predicament?  You are a cop, man up.

 

I'll give it another look.  Walking Dead it isn't.

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to have a Syrian guy as the patient 0 is just over the top, considering the whole migration crisis and anxieties about muslims in Europe right now. 

 

 

Yeah, I have to admit, the patient zero being muslim and also apparently committing bio-terrorism was a wee bit heavy handed.

 

 

 I'm hoping that the Syrian - bio terrorism angle is a ruse and there's something else behind it.

 

 

When they first made patient zero a Muslim illegal immigrant, I thought "Really, show? You're going to go there?" Then when it turns out he had a vial of something toxic, making it likely that this was intentional and terrorism, I nearly turned off the show. Of all the possibilities for a serious contagion, they had to go with Muslim terrorist. Of all the possible places they could have chosen to have a Muslim terrorist originate, they chose SYRIA which is a current controversial topic that I guess someone really felt they needed to weigh in on in this not at all subtle "statement".

 

I'm also hoping that this plot point will turn out to be something other than the obvious, but given how badly thought out elements of this show already seem to be, I'm not holding out much hope.

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I'm only watching this for Claudia Black.   She sounds so different than her Farscape days.   She deserves better but I'll stick it out for her

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I was hoping for something more realistic. Like the fictionalization of a CDC scenario. What I got was an infection that creates zombies rabid infected. kids at risk and apparently the key to a cure lies in the hands of a single researcher.

 

I'm also disappointed that they just hand waved the existence of the quarantine fence. The politics of fencing in a large number of people (especially in a majority African American city) would be absolutely nuts. No way it happens without the President ordering it.

Edited by xaxat
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Oh, where to begin.

 

Janna: I like the idea of someone having an anxiety disorder on a show about an outbreak. Firstly, there are a lot of people with them and these kinds of shows generally stick to the elderly when it comes to characters with disabilities. Secondly, it's just a little mean- "this woman has to survive an outbreak that makes people go rabid LET'S GIVE HER AN ANXIETY DISORDER." Hee.

 

Lex: Oy. I'll give the show points for making him black but he's such a stock character. The uncompromising, morally-upstanding male lead who trusts his gut - gotta love those guys, especially when they refuse to do their job and cooperate with people who know more/better than they do. "I'm going to need you, someone infinitely superior to me in rank, to explain what you intend to do until I am personally satisfied and only then will I do my job." Also, if you're girlfriend has an anxiety disorder try not taking her anxiety personally (not to be confused with seriously); stress creates anxiety even in people not dealing with anxiety disorders (or having to give up that bitchin' apartment of hers). Being belligerent actually doesn't help. (And did I hear it right and he's already living with someone else? WTF?)

 

Katie: Girl, if you need a badge to get into that section of the hospital I'm pretty sure your kids aren't in there. Also, if you have a medical mask over half your face and you're searching for your missing child during a hospital lockdown and you've just come across dead people covered in blood maybe stop trying to have "a moment" with the hot-tempered and douchey cop. 

 

Jake: Little wonder Janna dumped him repeatedly. 

 

Random thoughts: loved seeing Claudia Black but oy with the front of her hair when we first meet her. I'm expecting her to be a villain. Syrian Patient Zero is very obviously a misdirection. Would they really put up a fence that quickly? There's no way The Honorable Cop Everyone Trusts could actually keep people from rioting the second that fence went up and o m g ru kidding with that camera crew being in exactly the right place for the heartfelt speech? How young is the pregnant girl that she has to run away from her mom? This show is shot weirdly, almost every show on the CW is; it reminds me of the posters for The 100 where they pretty everyone up, model perfect, and then artfully smudge dirt on their faces while shining really flattering warm light on their faces.

 

I'll give it a few more episodes.

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There's no way The Honorable Cop Everyone Trusts could actually keep people from rioting the second that fence went up and o m g ru kidding with that camera crew being in exactly the right place for the heartfelt speech?

I predict the media is going to edit what they recorded in an unflattering light, further inflaming the situation. Oh, nose!

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This sums up my feeling about this show.

 

Walking Dead wants to use your hospital as a setting that has become a den of abuse and forced servitude post apocalypse... sure, no problem, call it Grady Memorial.

 

Containment wants a hospital that is the epicenter of handling an epidemic...we can't stop you from using our picture but you won't call it Emory.

 

CNN and GA Tech are conveniently outside the containment area and they moved the hospital because its impossible to contain it without them the Aquarium, World of Coke, etc.

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Mix of the walking dead, the strain, and under the dome. Not sure that's a good thing.

 

It's not, but it's what I thought throughout the episode.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that, given Hollywood's political correctness.

 

Not necessarily. I remember seeing a documentary that showed how easy it is to bioengineer now-a-days (sorry, I no longer recall any details). In addition, there are governments willing to sell their bioweapons and others that have collapsed and lost track of their wares.

I hesitated to reply, because the notion that a documentary might be scare mongering might be misconstrued as implying you're gullible, instead of implying the documentarians may not have been honest. Hope not.

 

But, although one step of the procedure is surprisingly easy, not requiring nearly as much equipment as you might expect, the part about actually engineering the genes in the chimeric organism, there's more to it than that. First, there's the research program devoted to finding the genes you want to combine in the novel weapon. Second, there's testing the organism, with great precautions to ensure the weapon doesn't escape into your own lab and population. Ideally, there's engineering a vaccine or treatment so that any spread of the disease back to the homeland can be contained. Thirdly, the organism has to be tweaked so that it can survive being transported in a container, then survive an artificial spreading process, which might mean being put in an aerosol, for instance. That's what they mean by weaponizing something like anthrax. All in all, this is not something even professional scientists are going to be able to do in their basements. I'm pretty sure if they tried they'd be far more apt to give themselves the disease by accident, if they could even succeed at all.

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Finally made time for this, and I don't know: I found it pretty rough in a lot of places.  The dialogue was very clunky and wordy, the characters are paper-thin, some of the acting was pretty bad (the actor playing Lex, the actress playing Jana, and, sadly, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, who I enjoyed on Spartacus as Seppia, but really seemed to be struggling here), and the directing was underwhelming, when you consider it was David "Just won an Emmy for Game of Freaking Thrones" Nutter.

 

But my main issue really is the characters, because I kind of hate almost everyone.  Maybe Jana's anxiety issues will end up being the real thing, but the way it was played, it really felt like she simply has commitment issues and is too afraid to just end it, so she's just stringing Lex along like a jerk.  At the same time, this has been the third attempt, so have some self-respect, Lex.  Third time wasn't the charm, so just cut your losses.  Teacher lady comes off like an asshole; as does the cop (hey, maybe they are made for each other!)  All the kids are already getting on my damn nerves, and I don't give a freaking damn about Tersea and her boyfriend.  Only character I'm kind of interested in is Sabine, but that's honestly just because she's Claudia Black.

 

Actually, I do kind of enjoy the British doctor, because he really sounded like Aidan Gillen at times, and I kept wondering how would Littlefinger handle a virus outbreak.

 

Also got a kick out of seeing Gregory Alan Williams as Lex's commander, who I've seen in everything from Necessary Roughness, to The Sopranos, to, yes, Baywatch.

 

When was the pilot actually shot, because I totally was thrown by them actually making Patient Zero be a Syrian refugee, and hint at a possible terrorist attack.  Kind of surprised they went there.  That said, I will not be surprised if that ends up being a false lead.  It will totally be something else.  Right now, I'm guessing Sabine will somehow be involved.  Or maybe I'm just hoping it's her, so Claudia Black won't be wasted on this show.  Now, if only she could have a companion played by Ben Browder...

 

Eh, maybe it will get better.

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Claudia Black is household name in my house. ...I live in a house of rabid Farscape fans.

 

I'm only watching this for Claudia Black.   She sounds so different than her Farscape days.   She deserves better but I'll stick it out for her

 

And she played Mala Val Doran on Stargate SG1.

 

Now, if only she could have a companion played by Ben Browder...

 

It's happened twice before -- on Farscape and Stargate SG1 -- so sure, why not ?

 

As for the show, I hope they plan to backfill what happened between Day 1 and Day 13.  I figured everyone inside the cordon would have killed each other by Day 7, let alone the virus killing them all.

 

ETA: Were we supposed to drink every time said "four to six feet" ? And I like how they strictly enforced that rule </snark>.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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Anxiety disorder?  I thought she was just a bitch!

If it had been something naturally nasty, I'd say it could have been a low-tech attack.  But if the virus had to be engineered to become infectious to humans, I'd probably say it wasn't produced in a tent.

I will continue to watch for at least a while, because: Aeryn Sun!

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On 4/20/2016 at 9:05 PM, ZoloftBlob said:

The teacher stuck in the hospital with the kids, including her own didn't ring true in that really, do hospitals and schools even allow this sort of event - singing to the sick people - anymore?

THIS!  And the whinny baby cop? WTF! 

It was really soap opera-ish. Definitely didn't feel real. 

Cuz I'm a DOINK and didn't check mark the notifications on reply thang.  ;)  I may have had a little bubbly before posting...

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The only people I like were old interracial couple. I hope they're gonna be okay. The peeved boyfriend was showing some personality in the end with Teenager Baby Daddy. Everything and everyone else were atrociously bad. (Claudia Black's blonde hair deserve a special mention and a place in hell).

Oh, Julie Plec of The Vampire Diaries fame developed and scripted that episode. That explains a LOT.

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On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 7:55 AM, sjohnson said:

I hesitated to reply, because the notion that a documentary might be scare mongering might be misconstrued as implying you're gullible, instead of implying the documentarians may not have been honest. Hope not.

But, although one step of the procedure is surprisingly easy, not requiring nearly as much equipment as you might expect, the part about actually engineering the genes in the chimeric organism, there's more to it than that. First, there's the research program devoted to finding the genes you want to combine in the novel weapon. Second, there's testing the organism, with great precautions to ensure the weapon doesn't escape into your own lab and population. Ideally, there's engineering a vaccine or treatment so that any spread of the disease back to the homeland can be contained. Thirdly, the organism has to be tweaked so that it can survive being transported in a container, then survive an artificial spreading process, which might mean being put in an aerosol, for instance. That's what they mean by weaponizing something like anthrax. All in all, this is not something even professional scientists are going to be able to do in their basements. I'm pretty sure if they tried they'd be far more apt to give themselves the disease by accident, if they could even succeed at all.

Yeah, the possibility of scare-mongering crossed my mind and maybe things have changed since then, but I just remember them saying it's easier to do than people think, especially if you don't care about the possibility of being patient zero.

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Just watching this. I saved it for my recovery after my operation. Just watched the Expanse, which was much better than I thought it would be. Have to say, this episode was pretty by-the-numbers for this type of show. Hope it gets better.

On 4/20/2016 at 6:49 PM, Ubiquitous said:

I wanted to like this show but I hate when people act irrationally or stupid to advance the plot. For example, people not keeping their face shields up so the infected can sneeze on them, people not keeping their distance from each other, the teacher willing to break protocol to get into a secured area her brats had no way of getting into, people immediately rioting when they quarantined the city, etc. I get they were trying to go for The Crazies, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Andromeda Strain (the original movies), but I couldn't suspend my disbelief or care about the fate of these fools.

You know, I used to think this too until the Ebola scare when nurses and medical staff coming back from infected areas started ranting and raving about their "rights" not to undergo quarantine. I remember at least one nurse who threatened to sue if they didn't let her go home immediately and was released. If she'd had Ebola, England would have had an outbreak. I think us rational people are underestimating the extraordinary sense of entitlement people have these days. Most people haven't seen outbreaks of any disease at all in their lifetime and they are not empathetic or imaginative enough to understand the implications. I mean, just look at the vaccination rates. You can't tell me these idiot Mummy Bloggers wouldn't be demanding to go home because their precious babies will be fine with a multi-vitamin and a sugar-free diet.

Having said that, I have no idea why the teacher-Mum would think her kids could have gotten into the secured area when she had to threaten somebody to get in. And then that's where they were! 

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