Thursday, August 06, 2020

States ordering visitors to be quarantined based on the 7-day performance of their home states in controlling conoravirus

Many states are requiring individuals who arrive from “hot spot” states to self-quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival.  Normal health department rules (taught in contact tracing courses) maintain that people may transmit the coronavirus within the two days before showing symptoms. But it’s also unclear how long someone has before showing symptoms, which may be a median of 5 days, but in extreme cases longer than 14 days. It’s particularly unclear how long people who never have symptoms could transmit the disease;  some have internal organ damage or clots anyway, but some may be truly protected by their T-cells except for superficial nasal infection they could still transmit to others.

Hot spot states are those with a 7-day moving average of 10 new cases per 100000 residents per day, or a 10% 7 day rolling average of a daily positive test result.   The first provision would logically mean that 3.65% of a state’s residents get infected a year.  The second would logically mean that either there are not enough tests are given (of people with few or no symptoms) or that really a lot of people are infected.

With widespread efficient mandatory testing of entire areas (maybe condo or apartment buildings) at some point in the future, we could find out that many more people are infected but totally asymptomatic (because of the way T-cells work).  It is unclear how these standards for quarantine would hold up, as ironically a much higher percentage of asymptomatic positives or previous infections would mean the disease is much less deadly after all.

But private citizens, given the huge fines for breaking quarantine especially in NYC (now with random entry checkpoints), are personally paying for the poor performance of other residents in some areas of their states, because of the uncertainty for public safety the presence of their bodies and breath presents, by inference.  That is a common moral theory of the Left, that people share personally the reparative penalties applies to their groups.
But you can also look at this as wartime, with arguments akin to conscription for enforcing quarantines.

Will this stand up in court if challenged?

In any case, let’s hope this all goes away when theaters and large venues can open again in NYC.  No one can afford the two weeks to go an event in another city.
I’ve learned of another movie pitch contest to be held in Las Vegas in October, but there is no way I can agree to travel to any such event given COVID and the uncertainty of quarantine traps.

Gov. Cuomo's site.

ABC7NJ report

The Hill's op-ed against the practice. 

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