The American Mask of Death
“The red death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. … But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his crenellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts.
They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842).
“It’s outrageous that during the worst health crisis facing our country in decades, insurers want to make clear that they still plan to profit from the treatment of coronavirus victims. This is just the most recent egregious example of the greed of the for-profit health insurance system and highlights why we need a Medicare for All system, which would guarantee testing and health care to everyone living in the U.S. If costs are waived for tests, but not for treatment, people who test positive for the coronavirus may not be able to afford treatment and will continue to infect others.” – Melinda St. Louis, Director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All Campaign.