From yesterday: “Elite versus Non-Elite access to COVID-19 testing”.
On further reflection, however, maybe celebrities jumping the queue are doing us a favor. We’ve learned that Harvey Weinstein (68), Jackson Browne (71), and Prince Charles (also 71) have tested positive for coronavirus and are recovering at home from their flu-type symptoms.
These guys are not examples of youth, vibrant health, or genetic diversity, right? They probably wouldn’t have been tested if they’d been ordinary peasants. Can we relax a bit knowing that (a) their positive diagnoses suggest that a reasonably high percentage of the population has already been exposed (consistent with the Oxford epidemiologists who may never be interviewed by America’s hysteria-dependent media), and (b) their mild symptoms suggest a lower-than-expected percentage of the infected need medical intervention?
[Ironic: Jackson Browne was infected in Wuhan on the Hudson at a concert to benefit victims of a different virus: HIV (New York Post). He came out of an “anti-Trump” concert in 2017 unscathed, fortunately, and also a crowded event in Los Angeles: “Trump loathing unifies the diverse crowd at the massive L.A. women’s march”. If Jackson Browne’s case had become serious, his life might have been saved by the president he loathes, since Trump sent one of the Navy’s two hospital ships to Browne’s home city of Los Angeles (the other one is going to New York City). Trump could certainly have sent the ships to Florida and Texas, right? Or addressed the inequality that New Yorkers and Californians decry by sending the ships to lower-income states such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and South Carolina. Will Democrats in LA and NYC at least send a thank-you note to Trump even if they will never vote for him?]
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts we have limited information on the non-celebrities. The March 25 update says that there are 1838 “confirmed cases”. Are they watching Netflix at home? Or near death on a ventilator in an ICU? For 1385 the answer is “Under investigation”. 103 are known to be hospitalized and 350 are known to be “not hospitalized”. Is it truly impossible for our state public health officials to call up the hospitals and ask “How many COVID-19 inpatients do you have right now?” (Contrast to Texas, where the governor has ordered daily reports on bed availability. (with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in health care IT, why aren’t these data already streamed up to each state’s department of health?).)