Ellen DeGeneres’s home isn’t a prison: What prisons are really like
Celebrities say stupid things all the time. Some of the stupidest things they’re saying right now have to do with COVID-19 and being stuck in the house. Ellen DeGeneres took the cake last April when she compared being in her multi-million dollar mansion to being in prison.
About five percent of Americans can tell Ellen DeGeneres just how wrong she is, as that’s the percentage of Americans who will be incarcerated in their lifetime. Apart from the new COVID concerns, life behind bars still sucks. We’d rather be stuck in Ellen DeGeneres’s house any day.
Here are all the reasons why Ellen Degeneres’s house beats prison any day.
Some of the worst COVID outbreaks per state
Correctional facilities across America are reporting some of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks. It’s not surprising, considering the conditions of US prisons. By contrast, Ellen DeGeneres lives in a huge mansion with just her, her wife Portia de Rossi, and their dogs, plenty of space to social distance.
Notorious for overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, prisons and jails in the US were known to be Petri dishes for a pandemic before the COVID outbreak began. At Ellen DeGeneres’s house, she can scrub and bleach everything to her heart’s desire, or have a staff member do it from six feet away.
Are people really being let out?
The CDC recommends people like Ellen DeGeneres to stay in their house as much as possible. The CDC suggests that nonviolent offenders not be locked up due to COVID. They’ve also recommended the release of inmates in more danger of contracting COVID, including elderly prisoners and those with underlying health conditions.
Ellen DeGeneres can at least go from the grocery store to her house. Only a fraction of prisoners eligible for release are being let out. Even if they are, some aren’t being tested before release. A 79-year-old man who was released due to COVID contracted the virus and died.
In some prisons, inmates are required to spend 14 days in isolation before release. In typical eight by eleven-foot bunkers, this is impossible. Unlike Ellen DeGeneres’s house, where there’s plenty of room to social distance, prisoners are in each other’s space, spreading their germs.
The CDC recommends testing for any inmate or staff member showing symptoms of COVID-19. It’s especially crucial for staff to be tested because they come and go from the prison, so they can spread it outside the walls. Ellen DeGeneres doesn’t have to come and go from anywhere. She can Zoom conference her show. She can have food delivered.
For anyone not on the inside, testing isn’t mandatory. No one is going to get a warrant on you, tie you down, and shove a Q-tip up your nose. It often isn’t needed if you stay at home. Ellen DeGeneres can do that with ease in her mansion, which is well-stocked with food and fun things to do.
Cushy amenities? Not a chance!
Even in the age of COVID, prison is still a prison. Ellen DeGeneres lives in a mansion worth over $30 million with cushy amenities like a chef’s kitchen, a spacious bathroom, a reading room, and indoor/outdoor space with fire pits for roasting s’mores. Did we mention the private gym?
Maybe similar amenities to Ellen DeGeneres’s house are available in Club Fed, but typical inmates are treated to a crowded, not socially distanced cafeteria, sometimes eating expired food. A spacious bathroom is shared with up to fifty other inmates at a time, where they’re most likely not spaced six feet apart.
Not only does Ellen DeGeneres not have to worry about getting COVID in her spacious, clean, socially-distanced, fun, luxurious house, but it’s a far cry from the three hots and a cot experience.