Covid-19 is a terrifying virus, and I genuinely hope that the celebrities who have contracted it recover fully. I have no doubt that their being tested will benefit many others, especially those who work alongside them and now know to self-isolate. In an ideal world, these celebrities would be tested, because we would all be tested, but that is not the world we live in. Instead, these celebrity Covid-19 tests have happened alongside a broader failure to test everyday citizens and residents in the US and the UK, including medical workers, those in at-risk groups, and those experiencing serious, even hospitalization-requiring symptoms. Medical workers are not being tested, and each day brings new stories of sick, vulnerable people who are refused testing. We know that testing is a key to derailing this virus’s path of destruction. The communities that get tested fast and early – which, in test-strapped countries, appear to primarily be the communities of the wealthy and powerful – will be far better protected.
Watching yet another celebrity announce that they have been tested (often while asymptomatic) feels like watching a medical drama that takes place on another planet. Meanwhile, the rest of us wait: not just for tests, but for the after-effects that a lack of testing will bring upon our communities, and upon the communities of those we love.