HE: “Greetings, [name]. Just returned from Austin. Strict hygienic observance, wore gloves and mask during the flights. I feel totally fine. But I’m married, as you know, and I’d like to get tested for COVID-19. I understand that clinics are only testing people who are showing symptoms, which argues with the basic idea behind the concept of responsible preventative testing (which authorities have been implementing in South Korea). Can you refer me to a clinic where I can get tested?”

Primary Care Physician: “Unfortunately I am unaware of any such place. You can not get tested at this time. [But then] the tests aren’t really useful if you don’t have a fever, as it may provide a false negative.”

HE: “I can’t even PAY to have a test done? The absence of widespread testing of non-symptomatic as well as symptomatic people is precisely why it’s spreading. People who are infected but haven’t yet experienced symptoms are walking around and spreading it obliviously.”

Primary Care Physician: “Correct. It is a systemic failure, and nowhere is it harder than on the front lines, where I am currently sitting. There isn’t really a point in testing anymore for individual purposes. Everybody should be isolated at home anyways. If you have a fever, you should assume you have COVID.”

HE: “I have nothing wrong with me — no fever, chills, congestion, coughing…zip. Remember when we first met and I told you that I have a very strong constitution and rarely get sick? And that while no one is bulletproof I’m pretty close to that?”

Primary Care Physician: “Nobody is bulletproof. Stay inside.”

HE: “Check, thanks, be well.”

So basically we’re all living the life of Harvey Weinstein. Or of Burt Lancaster in Birdman of Alcatraz. Confined, locked down. Watching and listening but not really doing anything outside of TV, computers and phone activity plus sleeping and eating. But I will not abandon rumble-hogging around town. I will continue to do that in a careful way.