I’m glad Tom Hanks is fine- BUT we know that testing is a key to derailing this virus’s path of destruction. The only communities that get tested fast and early – are primarily be the communities of the wealthy and powerful. They will be far better protected than the rest of us. Watching yet another celebrity announce that they have been tested (often while asymptomatic) feels like watching a medical drama that takes place on another planet. Meanwhile, the rest of us wait: not just for tests, but for the after-effects that a lack of testing will bring upon our communities, and upon the communities of those we love.
As Jennifer Schaffer writes in The Guardian, so far, that seems to be a lesson of this virus: it shows us who and what gets protected, as the ship sinks. On the Titanic, it was women and children. With Covid-19, it’s the wealthy and powerful. Testing is just one part of the class story unfolding: everyday workers are being laid off en masse while the wealthiest industries begin batting their eyelashes at trillion-dollar bailouts. Researchers race to develop treatments and a vaccine for Covid-19 while billion-dollar firms fight to monetize their findings in advance. Low-paid “key workers” – nurses, orderlies, delivery drivers, teachers, grocery store attendants and social caregivers – put themselves at greater risk of contracting the virus in order to keep society running, while generously paid employees in less-essential industries work from home.