Tuesday, December 01, 2020

"How we can stop the spread of COVID-19 by Christmas", in Time, by Michael Mina at Harvard (article review)


Michael Mina has a major article in Time, Nov. 17, “How we can stop the spread of COVID-19 by Christmas”.  Mina is a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, MA.

Mina explains how antigen tests work (compared to the PCR) and are a test of contagiousness (not as sensitive as the PCR – and note that there is recent controversy about the latter and cycle counting – see the International Issues blog).

He also says you would need about 50% voluntary compliance from individuals and families for this to break the reproduction of the virus (R0 way below one, and bringing down the dispersion by getting enough people to forgo gatherings or large events if they test regularly).

Other implementations would probably require some automated contact tracing and communications to health departments. Software to communicate test results to smart phones exists already.

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