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Slow the coronavirus spread so we can test way more

Johns Hopkins March 17 Coronavirus update:

The researchers concluded that efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic in each country—defined here as slowing transmission to reduce the peak of the epidemic—would be expected to still result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and overwhelmed health systems. Subsequently, they argue that efforts to suppress the epidemics—defined here as lowering transmission to bring R0 less than 1—are necessary to ensure the continued functioning of health systems. These measures, however, would likely need to be implemented for 18 months or longer. The study considered multiple interventions, both alone and combination with others: case isolation at home, voluntary quarantine of those living with cases, social distancing for individuals over the age of 70, social distancing of the entire populations, and school closures. The model indicates that a combination of these measures would be sufficient to suppress the epidemic and preserve the health system, but the disease would be expected to “quickly rebound” after the interventions are lifted. In order to maintain their impact, the measures would essentially need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available, which could be 18 months or longer.

Study link. And FYI R0 means the average number of people that an infected person infects.

This info is dangerously wrong. Specifically, the 18 month claim is very discouraging (the rest is fine). People, including policymakers, will give up and think stopping the disease is hopeless. We're not all going to stay home for 18+ months (and there's actually no guarantee we'll have a working vaccine in 5 years – unpredictable scientific progress is involved). That won't work. But we shouldn't be planning to wait for a vaccine. That's the wrong plan.

We need to buy time to do way more testing to see who's infected. When we test enough, we can control the disease. Proof is logical and explanatory thinking about how diseases work (if we know who's infected, we can isolate them), as well how well heavy testing is working in e.g. South Korea and Vo, a small Italian town which got the disease completely under control with lots of testing.

See also my coronavirus info thread with multiple updates per day. You can share info there, too.

And see What To Do About Coronavirus

Elliot Temple on March 17, 2020

Messages (5)

This is so bad in multiple ways:


- Not trying to add value but rather extract it

- OK with destroying value (injunction against the test) if can't extract value

- OK if people die as a result

- Incredibly poor timing clearly designed to provoke maximum pain and anger

- Gives anti-capitalists (like the article author) a platform for characterizing this as capitalism and then blaming capitalism for it.

Andy Dufresne at 8:17 AM on March 18, 2020 | #16029 | reply | quote

Great Twitter thread on what went wrong with US coronavirus testing:


curi at 1:01 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16078 | reply | quote



> "On the second testing that was carried out, we recorded a 90 percent drop in the rate of positive cases. And of all the ones who were positive in the second testing, eight people were asymptomatic," said Professor Andrea Crisanti, an infections expert at Imperial College London on sabbatical at the University of Padua in Italy, Sky reports.

GISTE at 4:55 PM on March 30, 2020 | #16203 | reply | quote

More on the last comment

#16203 This was from Mar 19 2020. I found a more recent article about it (March 20, 2020)

> But local officials say there hasn't been a new case of COVID-19 there since March 13.

> Around 3,300 people were tested, even if they had no symptoms. [this happened more than 2 weeks ago]

> Nearly 3 per cent — or 89 Vo residents — were infected with COVID-19.

> Every Vo resident who tested positive for the virus was put in quarantine in their homes.

> The researchers decided against sending patients to hospital to prevent them spreading the disease there.

> After two weeks of quarantine, the researchers carried out another round of mass testing in Vo.

> The rate of COVID-19 infection had dropped from nearly 3 per cent to 0.41 per cent.

GISTE at 5:10 PM on March 30, 2020 | #16204 | reply | quote

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