Tuesday, March 24, 2020
The case for testing everybody for the SARS2 coronavirus; but you have to be very careful how you treat people who test positive or their contacts
Tim Searchinger, Anthony LaMantia, and Gordon Douglas have a big op-ed in the Washington Post and offer another plan, which should be compared to Tomas Pueyo (previous post Sunday night).
The idea is mass testing of literally everyone (anyone with any electronically connected, in a topological sense, to a known case), including both PCR swab and antibody. The authors explain the medicine and engineering as to how to do this. Some of this can be done at home with test kits.
The article links to other articles that suggest some decentralization of control into neigjborhoods. Positive cases should be treated in hotels (and that may include asymptomatic cases to keep them completely out of circulation for two weeks, and possibly anti-viral therapy when available to greatly reduce any risk of lung disease).
There are real questions about removing people from their homes to hotels. There could be benefits in families, where future infection within a family is stopped. Would people be allowed to take their electronics, which might be “contaminated” (although it sounds like they can be cleaned fairly easily)? Someone not allowed to use them could find accounts hacked or removed and he might not them back, if this is not thought through in advance. In China, personal belongings were destroyed (even though surface contamination from most things dissipate in about three days – although the Diamond Princess has reported a few spots 17 days later).
There is talk that a lockdown needs to work five weeks to be effective now, essentially two incubation cycles, so that household members can go through their own. Virginia’s near lockdown, announced Monday, is pre-set to four weeks. Gov. Northam seems to be thinking, two incubation cycles. The CDC had recommended eight weeks of limiting groups to 50 (that’s 3 cycles). But most states limit them to 10, and the UK and Germany now limit them to two!
Follow what is going on at Stanford (article) which is aggressive in trying to help all hospitals in California ramp up testing volume. There will be more developments from these folks, I have some contacts.