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people with a deadly virus that we don’t know enough about into a community of over 100,000 and at a facility that’s outdated?”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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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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