“After surveying local data from across the country, we can only verify that 4,384 people have been tested for the coronavirus nationwide, as of Monday at 4 p.m. eastern time…By this point in its outbreak, South Korea had tested more than 100,000 people for the disease, and it was testing roughly 15,000 people every day.” — The Atlantic, 3/9/2020

“[The doctor] assured me that I was low risk because I hadn’t been to an epidemic country like Italy, South Korea, or China. I did not meet the hospital’s criterion for testing, travel to one of those countries, he said.” — The New York Times op-ed, 3/9/2020

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I understand that hives are appearing all over your body and that your throat is closing up, but we are unable to test and diagnose you with anaphylactic shock unless you meet two of the following criteria:

  • You recently pranced naked through a field and accidentally ran into a beehive and all the bees stung you.
  • You recently stuck your head into a beehive and said, “Hey, what the heck is goin’ on in here???”
  • A local prankster caught some bees in a jar and then opened the jar directly behind you at a minor league baseball game.

Unless two of these things happened to you in the past week, the odds are extremely low that you have anaphylactic shock. Honestly, don’t worry. No one in the community has anaphylactic shock, and we know they don’t have anaphylactic shock because we haven’t tested them. This is considered the golden age of medicine.

I can tell by your writhing on the ground that you have some questions, such as: Isn’t there a new kind of anaphylactic shock that is communicable between people?

Yes, there is. That’s why, when you leave the hospital, you should make use of your employer’s paid sick leave policy to stay home. Your employer doesn’t have such a policy? Then I’m going to recommend you stay home anyway and float on your savings even though six out of ten Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account.

You appear mad, but honestly, it’s your own fault. You should have invested in made-up pointless fantasy internet coins back in ’14.

Here, call this number if you have questions. Their offices are open three hours per week at completely unpredictable times. If they don’t answer, leave a message with your name, phone number, and the amount of money in your bank account to prove that you are worth saving.

I’m going to go ahead and say that you have pneumonia. You’re showing all the symptoms minus the main ones. I’m writing you a prescription for a blanket. The blanket cost $14 to produce and manufacture, but because this is a hospital, it’s going to cost you $1189.56. At the hospital two blocks away, it costs $456.78. In Canada, you get one for free. Unfortunately, we can never be like Canada because our closest ally and trading partner is simply nothing like us.

Some people were confused why President Trump cut funding to public health institutions, moved their offices to an unused tollbooth, and replaced their staffs with a chimpanzee blowing into a kazoo. Well, now you see why: because those cuts allowed us to give tax breaks to billionaires, who used the extra money to buy compounds in New Zealand in the event our society collapses due to the defunding of things like public health institutions.

I’m trying to buy a compound like that myself. Either that or just a normal house in Sweden.

How many people have you interacted with today, including at this hospital? 400? Good, good. I’m going to ask you to write down their names. Then you should write down the names of everyone those people interacted with, then write down the names of everyone those people interacted with, and so on until we have written down the names of everyone who lives within a ten-mile radius. This is how we stop this thing.

China gave us eight weeks to prepare for this pandemic. President Trump used that crucial time to tweet about Nancy Pelosi and hold political rallies where he talked about Nancy Pelosi. With mental agility like that, rest assured we are in good hands.

You seem upset, and I’m upset, too. If only our country had committed harder to deregulation, market competition, privatization, and class stratification while totally dismantling all public services, none of this would have happened. We need to take the kazoo away from that chimpanzee and use the freed-up kazoo money to stimulate the economy, by which I mean give bailouts to the fossil fuel industry.

The honest truth is that my hands are tied. I couldn’t give the test even if I wanted to. After high school, I trained for fourteen years so that a partisan appointee whose medical training is that he likes CSI: Miami can tell me how to do my job. Anyway, our hospital CEO makes $800,000 per year, and the lesson of capitalism is that that wouldn’t be happening unless the system worked.

The important thing is not to panic. Life will continue as usual as our hospitals are overwhelmed and healthy people work from home, spend no money, don’t go in public, and wonder if life really has to be like this.