One thing I love about SARS-CoV-2 is that the inevitable mutations enable me to ask the same questions over and over.
Suppose that Johnny starts feeling unwell after Art Basel. It takes him/her/zir/them a day or two to decide that it might be COVID and it is time to get tested. In a lot of states it might take at least one more day to arrange a test. After that, 2-3 days to get a result from the PCR toaster oven. Assuming a positive test, that puts Johnny 4-6 days after his/her/zir/their symptoms began when he/she/ze/they goes into isolation.
Let’s compare that to #Science. “COVID-19 Is Most Transmissible 2 Days Before, 3 DaysAfter Symptoms Appear” (Boston University/JAMA):
Each wave of the pandemic has underscored just how gravely contagious COVID-19 is, but there is less clarity among experts on exactly when—and to what extent—infected individuals are most likely to spread the virus.
Now, a new study co-led by a School of Public Health researcher has found that individuals infected with the virus are most contagious two days before, and three days after, they develop symptoms.
(They forgot to write “global pandemic”.)
In other words, by the time Johnny gets the PCR result, he/she/ze/they is mostly past the contagious phase. Wouldn’t the world have been far safer if we had a rule that anyone who is sick in any way has to be isolated (or, if unvaccinated, euthanized)?
I recently parked in a garage in Florida that has been converted into the world’s loneliest drive-through COVID-19 testing facility (there is hardly any COVID left in Florida).
After $10 trillion in COVID-related federal spending, how long to get a result in a state with hardly anyone infected? “Two to three days,” said the helpful lady who was checking the non-existent customers in. (I went back and forth to the car a few times and never saw anyone come in to be tested; about 6 people seemed to be working at this facility.)
Readers: Please explain to me under what circumstance this kind of PCR test has a practical value.