Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Exactly how should people prepare for possible self-isolation when being tested (with no symptoms)?


Wednesday morning, I do have an annual Medicare physical, and I may or may not have my first COVID test.  I am told they don’t give them routinely (not just to look for asymptomatic spread). I will get the fly shot.

As of June 30, this was the typical situation with doctor’s offices (with North Carolina as a sample).   It seems like the test would be sent out and go through the health department.

Yet on March 28 The Verge had reported on a test from Abbott where the doctor can get a result in about 15 minutes (it is a swab test).

An article Aug. 9 by Ken Alltucker for USA Today sums it up:  except for big league sports, it seems difficult to get results back quickly

So let’s take a quick look at Harvard Professor Mina’s plan for home test kits, which are like diabetics’ testing blood sugar.  Your result goes to your smart phone, and everywhere you go you demonstrate a negative test to get in.  Sounds like a South Korea plan.  But it could get the economy completely reopened in about six weeks without lockdowns.

It would really be a boon for schools and campuses.

But there is one really big problem.  Suppose you have no symptoms but can get a positive test back in 15 minutes.  Maybe by yourself, maybe at a doctor’s office.

By law, your test has to be sent to the health department (maybe by the phone app).  You are legally required to quarantine immediately.  No more groceries, no more computer repairs.  You have to be prepared for immediate isolation.  If you were in a doctor’s office, you couldn’t take a taxi or Uber home. If you live in a high rise, could you even take the elevator to your unit (I presume you have a good mask)?

Health departments say you can call number to work out details.  Typically, contact tracers will ask about other household members and determine if you can be isolated at home.  In many cases you might have to be sent to a hotel. 

But it seems as though finding out you are positive (but not ill) presents a potential Catch-22 that no one has answered.  Mike Hansen has an Aug. 29 video on new rapid antigen tests, which are nasal tests but less intrusive, and as noted a few months ago by Verge, can give results in about 15 minutes (set up like pregnancy tests).  Presumably these should be available soon in doctor's offices. The home version is not yet licensed by the FDA.  Again, if you have a test in an office and can learn the result immediately at the office, you need to be prepared beforehand as to how you would function (if not ill otherwise) and this hasn't been thought through yet. The tests can be tied to smartphone apps to develop passes for entry (or like for flying). 

You could have tremendous “personal losses” from this kind of a trap if not prepared properly.  It sounds like a “Stafford Gambit” in chess.

The Left wants to laugh, “welcome to oppression.”

I don’t really find many answers on how you get stuff done if you get caught in such a trap.  You’re supposed to have a “friend” do things for you.  But then, if you don’t have a family, you have to prepare others in advance, right?

(Posted: Tuesday Sept. 1, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT)

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