A friend of mine in a large California county got really sick yesterday; coughing, high fever. He went to the hospital. After several hours, they sent him home without testing. He was told the entire county has only 30 tests and he didn’t rank high enough on the protocol. So a person living in one of the richest counties in the richest state in the country that spends the most on health care gets really sick in the midst of a pandemic, but essentially has no recourse. Anyone who still thinks the media or some other mysterious force is overstating the gravity of this situation is out of their mind. The reality is at least as dire and urgent as the dire and urgent headlines. James Hamblin in The Atlantic: What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?

+ “The failure to tap into the flu study, detailed here for the first time, was just one in a series of missed chances by the federal government to ensure more widespread testing during the early days of the outbreak.” ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already‘: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response.

+ Need a test? Run for Congress and align with the party in power. “The two lawmakers also said they were exhibiting no symptoms of respiratory illness, raising questions of why they were tested at all.” (Be Test is the new Be Best.)

+ WaPo: “There’s an old brain teaser that goes like this: You have a pond of a certain size, and upon that pond, a single lilypad. This particular species of lily pad reproduces once a day, so that on day two, you have two lily pads. On day three, you have four, and so on. Now the teaser. ‘If it takes the lily pads 48 days to cover the pond completely, how long will it take for the pond to be covered halfway?’ The answer is 47 days. Moreover, at day 40, you’ll barely know the lily pads are there.” Megan McArdle in WaPo: When a danger is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t.

+ Very interesting NYT explainer: How Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells.

+ The WHO just declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Here’s what that means. (it means the same thing as we knew the day before they made this announcement: Cancel everything.)

+ Seattle and San Francisco are banning large gatherings including Warriors games, etc. This is how canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart.

+ “This is an unprecedented opportunity for everyone to see a show that they otherwise might not have had easy and affordable access to.” The producer of some huge Broadway shows has reacted to the pandemic by … offering discounted tickets.

+ On the plus side, there are signs when crucial steps are taken, the curve flattens. We’ve seen that in the several countries. And the last two of 16 temporary hospitals in the epicenter city of Wuhan have been shut down.