How do we get back to normal?
I've read several articles of late that give me hope that the world might soon find ways to get our lives back to normal. Here's a list of some of those articles.
Wuhan coronavirus: From silent streets to packed pools - This article on the BBC website woke me up to the possibility that widespread testing could be an effective means for stopping the spread of COVID-19.
How to Test Every American for COVID every day: The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back - This article from The Atlantic discusses the impact of widespread testing, and gives details about a new test (from e25 Bio) for antibodies that could be used in such a way that our daily lives could quickly be returned to (almost) normal. (The article is free; no subscription needed.)
‘Instant Coffee’ COVID-19 Tests Could Be the Answer to Reopening the U.S. - This article from Scientific American discusses the same e25 Bio test presented in the article from The Atlantic, as well as a similar test under development by 3M and MIT.
Both of the above articles explain why such rapid-results tests are, for our current situation, superior to the standard PCR tests despite somewhat lower accuracy. From the Scientific American article:
"What is more important than a perfect test is one that turns positive during the time period in which an individual can spread the virus to others—and that’s, purportedly, what these cheap tests do well. Generally, disease transmission in COVID-19 is believed to begin early—several days before one becomes symptomatic. Viral load levels peak early and then they gradually decline, with an individual unlikely to be infectious approximately eight to 10 days after showing symptoms."
So what are we doing about this? Not much, right now. But we could be. Here's a quote from the article in The Atlantic:
'There is no technical obstacle to that vision. There is only a dearth of political will. “The lack of testing is a motivation problem,” Stuelpnagel said. “It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it should take a lot of effort, and we should be willing to take that effort.”'
'... the answer is so close, and so doable, but not yet something the government is considering. “Let’s make the all-star team of people in this field, pay them whatever they need to be paid, put billions of dollars in, and get a working test in a month that could be truly scalable. Take it out of the free-market, capitalistic world and say: ‘This is a national emergency’—which,” [Mina] said, “it is.”'
Professor Michael Mina, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard, was interviewed for The Atlantic article. He claims that this plan "could bring the virus to heel in the U.S. within three weeks." [Emphasis added.]
Already a month has passed since The Atlantic article was published. We just passed the 200,000 deaths mark.
Time for our nation's leadership to step up.