Rich Connecticut NIMBYs Don't Want Your Filthy Coronavirus Tests Near Them

Their complaints shut down an important pandemic-fighting tool. Fortunately, a substitute plan has been found.


One of the biggest problems the United States has faced in fighting the coronavirus has been a failure to test wide swaths of citizens who may have been exposed. We're just now starting to catch up. But residents of one extremely rich New England town would prefer that we not catch up in their backyard.

Darien, Connecticut, is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with a median household income of $208,000 across a population of about 21,000. There are multiple yacht clubs there, and massive mansions worth millions of dollars.

The town announced this week that Murphy Medical Associates would offer drive-through coronavirus testing in a parking lot at Darien's town hall. While you didn't need to be a resident of Darien to get tested there, you did need to be directed there by a doctor after an online screening process. If a doctor didn't direct you to go there to get tested, they would not test you.

Those restrictions weren't enough for the residents. Earlier today the Darien Times reported that the drive-through testing had been cancelled because neighbors complained that the testing was too close to their homes.

Based on the information we have, this testing would have been no danger to these neighbors. Without the testing, meanwhile, people in Darien would have to go to other towns for testing: Bridgeport, New London, New Haven, or Greenwich.

Fortunately, another plan was hammered out this afternoon. The Darien Times reports that these drive-through screenings will be available Mondays at the local high school. You'll still need a doctor's orders to actually get tested. A happy ending, or at least a happy-ish ending. Only Mondays?

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  1. A pox on their mansions !!

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  2. And if/when a vaccine is made available, the good people of Darien CT will be demanding that they get it first.

  3. Fortunately, another plan was hammered out this afternoon.

    That is, the Government is officially seizing the houses of the complainers for use as testing facilities and hospitals.

    1. We may not be able quarter our soldiers in your house, but the BoR didn’t mention anything about the sick and dying, suckers!

  4. American Dream. Earning enough to live where your neighbor’s sneeze won’t kill your mother.

  5. In fairness, it seems this area is rich enough that they can probably afford their own tests. Do they even need drive through testing?

    Without the testing, meanwhile, people in Darien would have to go to other towns for testing: Bridgeport, New London, New Haven, or Greenwich.

    Why is that? I’m assuming we’re saying the Doctors of the Rich can’t get their own tests? Why not?

    1. In a town of 21000, they probably aren’t all rich.

      And what’s the deal now? Is is possible to go to a doctor and pay for a test. Or otherwise get on-demand testing?

      1. Drive-through testing actually is safer, especially on a breezy day, because of air quality concerns. Air flow matters here.

        But you can get private testing from, among other places, Quest and LabCorp, both of which are very swiftly working to ramp up capacity…and almost certainly will have better turnaround than state labs.

        Though what we really need is a rapid test–those usually sacrifice a bit in precision for speed, but it only needs to be precise enough to tell you if you should even bother with further testing…and tell you so quickly. Not sure we could do an antibody/antigen test, though that would also help find recovered people…and you can use serum from them to treat people.

  6. The entire state of CT should change their motto to “The NIMBY State.” Because that’s exactly what it is, through and through.

    1. And yet parts are remarkably crappy. I don’t know what the point of CT is.

  7. “one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with a median household income of $208,000”

    Reason is making the same stupid assumptions that the various, class warfare advocates do; that wealth and income are interchangeable. Or, that the mean price of a home in an area is relative to income or wealth levels nationwide.

    These things may correlate to some degree but, not directly and they are not interchangeable. Plenty of wealthy people have little income (many elderly homeowners in CA for instance) and plenty of higher income earners have little wealth (debt is a killer!). Besides, income, wealth and median home prices vary widely in different locations. They are relative to the location and, nationwide comparisons, while entertaining, have no comparative value.

    Where I live, in a “low income” suburb of 120,000 people in CA, there aren’t many $1M homes. There are a few. We are considered a “poor” city in the SF Bay Area and looked down upon by many. The median home price in February was “a mere” $448m.

    However, $200m/year household income isn’t so rare. That’s easily a white collar middle manager plus a professional blue collar salary combo. Manager of Accounting and a Refinery Operating Engineer for instance. (we have a refinery and I speak from first hand knowledge.)

    But most of the residents here, don’t have a pot to piss in. Very little net worth (wealth). Other than equity in their home if they haven’t refinanced it out. People, even at this income level here, don’t save because they believe they can’t. They believe they can’t have “rich” wealth and that high income is what those “rich” people make. But not themselves. They say their strapped by house and car and kid payments. But, they aren’t willing, or smart enough to try. Or even use their employer sponsored and matched, 401(k) plans. After all, those are just for “the rich” you know?

    Please don’t use “income” and “wealth” in this interchangeable manner. You could have just referred to it as a well off suburb. I expect more of Reason.

    And please, don’t feed the class war advocates. Do you want to end up with Bernie, Elizabeth or their ilk in office? They’re feeding this all too real rich vs poor war and their gaining support.

    And so are you!

    1. I’ve heard some ridiculous claims about how expensive the Bat Area is, but saying $200,000,000 is middle manager plus blue collar salary is a new one

      1. Once somebody is high enough the totem pole that they can get jobs that will cover in some way relocation costs? You aren’t likely to be able to attract and retain anybody worth having if you don’t pay them enough they can afford to live there. Especially as it is getting pretty easy to check an area’s cost of living and see if you actually would be better off with the job offer that is about 10% less. After all, if the higher offer won’t even cover the cost of living where you would have to live, while the lower one would more than cover its area’s CoL…

        So, I can believe anywhere that is in that area would pay that much for a middle manager + skilled blue collar. And skilled blue collar is thin on the ground, right now, because a lot of people will send their kid to college even when the kid would be more successful in the skilled trades. (And some might go to college eventually, for a degree in something that interests them or so they have credentials to back them up when they go tell the people designing what they work with that it just won’t work on a practical level. But straight out of high school? That isn’t them, and that ought to be okay.)

      2. He must have meant to use ‘k’ instead of ‘m’ as he mentions home prices of $448.

        1. Dammit, where’s that edit button??!!


    2. Everyone making 250K in California says they’re not that well off, not really. And they have a point. If you make 5 times the national average income but you can’t afford a 3-bedroom house, what is your extra salary buying you exactly? Worse traffic?

    3. Hi Kidding, the single M for thousand is depreciated. I know that you are probably dedicated to the imperial measurement system (working in heavy industry, I feel you). However, even the Houston ship channel is now referring to kscfh and klbs.

      The new standard is “k” for thousand and “MM” for million, to avoid all confusion with both new and old systems.

      For you young’uns and metric minded, the classic imperial system was to use “M” for thousand and “MM” for million. You still see this all the time.

  8. rich assholes like this can make it more challenging to defend the free market….

    I hope moths get into their cashmere sweater closets, that’ll teach ’em!

  9. Yeah let’s see what happens when this is in Koch’s town.

    Maybe those billions will not protect you.

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  11. Democrats. Feh.

  12. Meh, this is overblown. There are only a handful of neighbors that would even notice, but condemn the whole town? This isn’t even a fancy part of town. It’s hard to find a decent house under $1M in Darien, but most of the ones surrounding the town hall are valued under that.

    The high school is a better location anyways. More central location, access from three roads, large parking lot, more isolated.

    Sad to see Reason agreeing with a class warfare article.

    1. You are diminishing grievance.

      How dare you! Haha

    2. That’s what I don’t like. It’s assuming the worst without evidence. There might be a very good reason that the city hall is a bad idea. Would this be blocking the main entryway? In a town that small, it’s possible that there is only one public entrance, and they don’t want to have medical testing in the same spot where people are trying to get in to get their car registered.

  13. Coronavirus is mostly a rich person’s disease though. People who are rich enough to travel internationally are more likely to get it. Old people (who are the wealthiest age cohort) are most at risk if they get it. Business owners (typically loaded) are most affected by the coronavirus panic and government overreaction. Stock market investors (super rich people) are losing their shirts.

    So any bailouts should go to the rich — how about raising the 3K capital loss carry forward rule? It’s about 40 years out of date.

  14. meanwhile, people in Darien would have to go to other towns for testing: Bridgeport, New London, New Haven, or Greenwich.

    Fortunately, another plan was hammered out this afternoon.

    Well duh, you think someone from Darien would be caught dead in Bridgeport?

    Maybe they’d go to New Haven, but only if it’s less than a block away from a Yale building.

  15. When local ordinances boost the home values of “libertarian” boomers, they’re called local control and freedom of association rather than nimbyism.

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  17. But residents of one extremely rich New England town would prefer that we not catch up in their backyard.

    Golly gee. Exactly what happened for 1918 flu. Private charity hospitals tended to kick out the infected – who then went home to infect their families and die. Don’t want those people near us and our large tax-deducted ‘charitable’ contribution

    It is why muni hospital construction took off during the 20’s and 30’s.

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  19. A Fair Field full of mean folk.

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