Last week we learned that Boris Johnson also tested positive for the virus; adding to a growing list of notables across the globe. Tom Hanks was the first to grab my attention – that was sad. Then there was a raft of NBA basketball players – how did that happen? And a few days ago “the palace” released a statement that even Prince Charles has it – deary me! Now we’re learning of local Houston personalities like US congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher and “legendary” rapper Scarface — though I must admit I’d never heard of him before this.
Everyone’s first reaction is perverted comfort in the fact that this stealth villain can also reach the lofty echelons of society. The rich and famous are not escaping it’s tendrils. Privilege has not bought them immunity.
It’s an equal opportunity threat.
Or is it?
Privilege may have granted them access to testing. Did they have to pass the same screening that you or I would to get tested where we live? I don’t think so.
Will fame and fortune gain them preferred access to medical treatment, if it’s needed? If decisions have to made with scarce resources as to who gets a ventilator in limited supply and who doesn’t, how will lines be drawn in this country? Based on likely health outcome, as we’ve heard in Italy, or the ability to pay, which is our typical default model? How would we choose between a young able bodied person with no insurance and the elderly frail with medicare?
There are more questions than answers right now. I have my concerns. I hope we are not tested.
And if we are, I pray that we will be touched “by the better angels of our nature”.