The New York Times

The New York Times 17 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Testing: U.S. Residents Share Their Woes

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Since March 3, the Trump administration has said coronavirus testing is available to all. But people across the country told us that's not the case.


As lockdown continues, Owen Jones speaks to private renters about how the pandemic has affected them. From activists in tenants' unions and NHS workers struggling to find accommodation to students who've had their final terms disrupted and are left unsure about what to do with their accommodation, he asks them if they are worried about what comes next 
Medical workers from across the country share their stories fighting the coronavirus. Aired on 04/03/2020.
During a press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio says new support is being provided for NYCHA residents with six new coronavirus testing sites. He adds that NYCHA residents will be a "priority" at each site.
Doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic share their thoughts in real time as they fight the spread of the coronavirus.

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“It started for me with a pretty severe sore throat.”
“I started to feel symptomatic five days after traveling.”
“It’s different than the bronchitis
that I’ve gotten before.”
“Everything had kind of settled in my lungs.
And I was just coughing a ton.”
“I had a headache and felt feverish.”
“It felt like I had a bowling ball on my chest.
Nobody’s willing to see me, and nobody has the test kit
and even C.D.C. is refusing to test me.”
“I traced back, you know, my wife,
she works at Amazon. They had a confirmed case.”
“Four different planes
in four different airports.
So I don’t know who sat next to me
or who I was in contact with.”
“It’s one person coming in from China,
and we have it under control.
It’s going to be just fine.”
“We’re going down, not up.
We’re going very substantially down. Not up.”
“Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.
They’re there.
They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.”
“We have a president saying anyone who
wants tests can get a test.
And I’m thinking, That is so not true.”
“It was just interesting, because there
was this kind of gray area for a while of people who
felt like they were really sick
and should have been tested just as,
even as a rule out.
And the state of Washington
just did not have the capacity to do that,
because the government had not supported us
at that point essentially.”
“I got through to public health
after about an hour, and they told me
that I did not meet the criteria for being tested.”
“They said, ‘There’s no way to get tested.
We don’t have tests right now.
There’s nothing set up in Delaware.’”
“I looked at the C.D.C. website and it said, call your doctor
if you have the symptoms.
So I called the doctor’s office
and they told me to go to an urgent care facility.
I called an urgent care facility
and they said that there’s nothing that they can do.
And they don’t have the tests.
And they told me to go to the E.R.
And I called a hospital, and they told me
that they don’t have the test either.”
“I just felt like I was getting the run-around.
It was clearly obvious that they just
are under capacity, and they’re not able to test.”
“I eventually just gave up because, at that point,
the testing criteria was so strict. It was,
you travel to China or have you been in contact with someone
known diagnosed Covid.
And I didn’t meet any of that.”
“As a nurse in an E.R.,
it’s pretty vital if I have an infectious disease
that I know what it is because I could be spreading it
to people who are really vulnerable.”
“I actually work in a building that’s a fairly public place.
There’s people of every generation coming in there.
There’s a private school there.
There’s a senior center.”
“Southwest Florida is full of elders.
There is a lot of snowbirds coming here.
They’re all in their 70s and 80s.
I cannot get myself, like I cannot convince
my conscience to leave the house just thinking about
that, Hey you went grocery shopping
and now like five people died.
So I just self quarantined myself
and basically started working from home.”
“We stocked up on food items as much as possible.
I bought a 25 pound bag of rice.
We bought beans.
We got ready basically just
to hunker down for those two weeks.
At this point, I’m telling people like make —
if you have a decision to make,
think about survival and make the decision
based on survival for yourself,
your family and your community.”
“We knew this was coming.
The federal government is just completely bungling this,
and our lives are at stake.
I feel like they’re just leaving us here
to die in Seattle.”
“The most overwhelming feeling was
you are on your own.”
“I’m just really concerned for those
that this is going to affect the hardest.
And I think we pretty much failed at early testing,
early containment.
We had more time than other governments.”

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