NIMBY: Wealthy Connecticut town forces drive-through coronavirus testing to be canceled

Darien, Connecticut is so rich that you probably recognize the name without needing to google it. It’s not as synonymous with money as “Bel Air” or “Greenwich,” but it’s close. It’s where the richer people who work in Manhattan move when they want to spread out a little.

So of course it’s out of the question to let poors stop by for five minutes to find out whether they’re carrying a lethal pneumonic plague.

Between this and the thought of senators trading stocks based on their COVID-19 intelligence briefings, these rich sociopaths are going to make a populist out of me yet.

ORIGINAL STORY: In partnership with Murphy Medical Associates, the Town of Darien is pleased to announce the establishment of a drive-through COVID-19 test site in the lower parking lot at Darien Town Hall, located at 2 Renshaw Road.

You do not have to be a Darien resident.

“We think it is a really important service to provide to our local community,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said…

UPDATE: Darien’s drive-through testing has been canceled, according to a tweet from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson. The testing was to start Thursday. Some neighbors expressed complaints with the location of testing so close to their home on social media.

It’s a drive-through testing center. The whole point of drive-throughs is to let people get tested without having to leave their cars, all but eliminating the risk that they’ll pass the virus along to people nearby. Are Darien residents afraid that someone with fever and chills, who’s sufficiently worried about having COVID-19 that they’ve managed the herculean feat of arranging to be tested for it, is going to hang around and do a little shopping while they’re in town?

Given the abysmal national shortage in testing, you’d think Darienites would consider a drive-through in their town to be something of an amenity.

The funny thing is that one of the new drive-through testing sites nearby is supposed to be in … Greenwich. Although this website ominously lists that as “on hold” as I write this. Go figure.

On the other end of the income spectrum, there’s a more serious problem brewing involving people being stigmatized over coronavirus:

Truckers are trying to navigate growing challenges on highways and at loading docks as they seek to keep supply chains running to meet surging coronavirus-driven demand for consumer staples and medical equipment…

Some customers are asking drivers to stay in their trucks or switch from paper to electronic methods to document pickups and deliveries, trucking companies and freight brokers said. Additionally, some trucking companies said their drivers are facing new restrictions at receiving docks if they have been in states considered coronavirus hot zones…

“They are not allowed to use the restroom, not allowed to use the building,” Ms. Allen said. “They don’t want drivers in the facilities.”…

Some drivers aren’t willing to haul loads to states such as New York or Washington where the numbers of coronavirus cases are highest “because when they go to other states, they are stopped at the gate and asked where they have been,” said Libby O’Hara, U.S. operations director for Logistics Plus Inc., an Erie, Pa.-based logistics and trucking provider.

It’s not irrational to worry that someone who’s been to New York recently might now be traveling with COVID-19, but freezing out truckers from basic services is going to make shortages worse by slowing down supply lines. Some rest stops have even been closed due to local governments shutting down businesses, reducing places where truckers can rest, eat, and refuel.

If they’re in the northeast, they should park in Darien. No one there will be willing to touch them if they refuse to move their truck when ordered to do so by local PD.

I’ll leave you with this to wind down a very hard week, one of many to come. Are all these social distancing measures we’re taking to flatten the curve actually working? Looking at this, you might say no…

…but as Nate Silver notes, we can’t forget that the catastrophic breakdown in testing for the virus in the U.S. leaves us with no good sense of how many actual infections there were early on. Part of the reason the number of positives has been climbing so steadily lately is because testing is finally catching up to the virus and detecting “old” infections, not just new ones. In fact:

He cites the numbers out of Washington state as evidence. Although the total number of positive tests is rising there, the number of daily positives as a percentage of overall tests has begun to decline. We may be flattening the curve but are blind to it at the moment because, well, we’ve been blind to everything about this disease since it landed here. Plus, flattening the curve takes time: If it’s true that coronavirus takes two weeks on average to infect someone and then resolve, it should take two weeks or so since the start of social distancing measures to see the numbers begin to fall. There’s circumstantial evidence from the new Kinsa map that I wrote about earlier that the curve is bending in Washington and, to a lesser extent, in NYC. We’ll know more next week.

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