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people with a deadly virus that we don’t know enough about into a community of over 100,000 and at a facility that’s outdated?”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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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