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people with a deadly virus that we don’t know enough about into a community of over 100,000 and at a facility that’s outdated?”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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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