It’s become pretty obvious over the last couple weeks that celebrities get treated differently when it comes to coronavirus testing than us “regular people.” Tests have been in short supply and high demand in the United States ever since the first confirmed case, with even doctors expressing frustration that they can’t get approval to test patients that are showing all the symptoms.
Testing not only helps determine where the virus is spreading and alert others who may have come in contact with an infected person that they, too, should be tested and potentially quarantined, but it also allows doctors to treat their patients properly. Without testing, everyone’s more or less just flailing around in the dark.
While EVERYONE who thinks they may have been infected should be able to be tested, the reality is that criteria for most folks to be tested up until this point has been very specific, often requiring specific, extreme symptoms, a history of travel, pre-existing conditions, contact with a confirmed infected person, and sometimes even age.
But celebrities seem to be getting tested if there’s even an inkling of possibility that they’ve been infected, often meeting only one of the above criteria.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among the first celebrities confirmed positive for COVID-19.
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Hello folks. @ritawilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx
Idris Elba is also among those who have tested positive, but don’t seem to be presenting any symptoms.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
While we were certainly relieved that they seem fine, as other folks shared their own experiences with getting tested, the inequalities became more and more apparent.
A coworker was on the Grand Princess. 2 visits to Kaiser and I still can’t get tested for COVID. Been sick for over a week with ALL the symptoms. Celebs & athletes with no symptoms are getting tested daily. More money=better health care. Not right. @GavinNewsom @SpeakerPelosi pic.twitter.com/j0nLWfdDq6
— Joey Childress (@JoeyChildress7) March 17, 2020
Quite sure my son has coronavirus. He is 20 and lives at home. The ER says we can’t come unless his breathing gets out of control. Says call primary. Primary says no appts while this all going on. No one can tell me where the fuck to get a test. I am compromised to top it off.
— Bernie Sanders, you bastards. (@DoxsieKatrina) March 16, 2020
— Leslie STAY HOME, WASH HANDS (@flyingthen) March 18, 2020
10th day extremely sick in hospital isolation . No test kits here . We are just treating my symptoms as they show up CPAP helps me a lot pic.twitter.com/h0tZICUqmK
— Sean Turner (@allareblessed) March 16, 2020
My buddy has had a fever for the last 5 or so days, and was told he can’t get a coronavirus test because they’re saving them for the elderly.
So answer this: why the FUCK are celebrities getting a pass at this?
— ⚾️ (@ThatDumbNYYFan) March 17, 2020
Meanwhile, entire basketball teams have been tested regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms or not.
“The current practice in New York is no one who’s not getting admitted to a hospital is getting a test,” said an ER doc. “Except for basketball players.” https://t.co/rL8c6kCRaO
— Tim Marchman (@timmarchman) March 18, 2020
I’d like a coronavirus test. I’m very sick.
Have you had contact with someone who tested positive?
Have you traveled to China recently?
Have you been tested for the flu?
Yes. No flu.
Do you play professional basketball?
I see no need for you to be tested.
— Hank Smith (@hankrsmith) March 18, 2020
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 19, 2020
And celebrities who are just feeling a little under the weather don’t seem to have too much trouble getting tested either.
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— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) March 17, 2020
Celine Dion Tests Negative for Coronavirus After Common Cold Symptoms https://t.co/xuG9XXydIv
— E! News (@enews) March 11, 2020
But the rest of us are just being left in the dark.
My uninsured pregnant daughter who’s been really sick w Corona virus symptoms for two weeks & works at Target probably isn’t going to get a COVID-19 test bc she can’t “prove” 2 have come into contact with a known patient jfc.
Welcome to #ShitHoleAmerica!⬅️
— SocialistDirtbag Left ️#NotMeUs (@carolyn_pearl) March 17, 2020
commoner: i have all the symptoms for coronavirus can i get tested
doctor: sorry we don’t have enough tests
any celebrity: i don’t have any symptoms but i looked at someone who has the virus
doctor: NURSE, GET A TEST STAT! *to celeb* you’re not dying on my watch
— Laurazepam (@andlikelaura) March 17, 2020
My aunt is sick and went to the doctor to get tested for the coronavirus and they refused to test her because she “didn’t fit the criteria.” But NBA players can get tested and not possess any symptoms????? Classism at its finest. https://t.co/IVt2cV2x8Y
— (@sydneygibbs___) March 18, 2020
— Dave Huddleston (@DaveHWSB) March 16, 2020
My mom (in nyc) has a cold — she’s a nurse practitioner in her 70s…. and she is plugged into the health system and can’t get tested.
Are these tests actually happening??? Has anyone following me been tested or had a loved one tested? What day were you tested/where?
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@Jason) March 15, 2020
Glad to see our priorities as a society haven’t shifted even in the face of a global health crisis — the rich and the famous get access to everything at the drop of a hat while the rest of us just hope for whatever crumbs are leftover. This disease may not discriminate, but people sure do.