Where Should We Quarantine Coronavirus Patients?

The coronavirus scare is reaching a new phase: where do we quarantine all the folks who may or may not be infected? As always, the answer is “somewhere else”:

Dozens of concerned residents, state officials and representatives of surrounding communities packed Costa Mesa City Hall on Saturday to show their support for the city’s decision to request a temporary restraining order that blocks state and federal agencies from using a local facility as a quarantine site for coronavirus patients.

….Residents of Costa Mesa and neighboring cities maintained Saturday that the state-owned Fairview Developmental Center in the city is a bad choice for a quarantine and treatment center. “Ludicrous,” said Costa Mesa resident Katherine Craft. “What would motivate someone … to put sick people with a deadly virus that we don’t know enough about into a community of over 100,000 and at a facility that’s outdated?”

The Fairview Developmental Center was built decades ago and is now almost entirely disused. That means it’s a hundred acres of empty buildings surrounded by a golf course:

Short of abandoning quarantine patients in dinghies anchored offshore, it’s hard to imagine a facility better suited as a quarantine site. It’s got lots of separate buildings; it’s near doctors and health care facilities; and it’s surrounded by a golf course. And it’s not as if you can catch coronavirus by being downwind of it.

But fear and ignorance and NIMBYism win every time.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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