At-home test kits are back in stock; triumph of central planning?

As of last night, CVS in the Palm Beach area has at-home test kits back in stock.

Do we call this a failure of central planning? The site to order “free” (i.e., paid for by us via taxes) kits went live only on January 19 delivery time was supposed to be “within seven to 12 days” (USA Today). In other words, the central planners’ fix for the shortage will not ramp up until after the shortage is over.

Or do we call this an example of the success of central planning? Secure in the knowledge that Joe Biden is sending them four kits per household, Americans have ceased their panic buying of test kits at retail.

11 thoughts on “At-home test kits are back in stock; triumph of central planning?

    • Exactly what I wonder. And if you test for work and don’t like testing, it ain’t going to stop until you say no. Test kit makers are the new giants of industry(rent seekers.) Submit and it will never end for you.
      The rest of us will live unmasked, untested, laughing at you. The Chinese style humiliation bum test will be here as soon as testing becomes more of a norm for people. Then we will be laughing really hard at you.

  1. In other words, the symbol of free market economy is and was failing in raking the government funded profits of providing a very basic service while countries that symbolize “central planning” have no issues whatsoever?

    I’ve had 6 tests, at 4 different locations all within less than 5 min drive, just in the past 3 weeks (work related – it was required to enter certain facilities). Pharmacies always have a bunch of tests on stock, available free for school kids etc. Anyway, availability is not an issue at all.

    Though to be fair, at this point testing does seem a bit pointless.

    • It has been pointless to start with, given lack of any meanigful test validation.

      Note that we STILL don’t know test false positive and false negative rates. Doctors are similarly kept in the dark. I asked a few, no one has a slightest idea.

      As far as can tell those tests measure phase of the Moon. Or why keep this info top secret? We truly do live in idiocracy.

      PS. Of course, such “testing” isn’t pointless if your goal is to sell tests anf vaccines and terrorise pipulation into submitting to totalitarian control.

  2. What’s the price ? It’s regulated here in France in pharmacies (5.20eur a home test) but the supermarkets are allowed to sell home tests, on a temporary emergency basis, and they sell at cost. As low as 1.20eur.

    They were hard to find everywhere during the peak of January, for about two weeks, but now they’re back everywhere.

    Still no online sales, that would be crazy, maybe for the next pandemic.

    • OC: in yet another failure of Econ 101, the price at CVS has been about $11 per test whether these items are plentiful, almost gone, or sold out.

    • philg, apparently it is failure at your local CVS. At home testing kits were gone at $27 per box of 2 tests in local supermarket but quickly re-appeared. I pay about $9 per box of 2 online.

    • I don’t know what to tell you about the econ failure.

      These tests seem to consist of some development, regulatory and legal work done in Western countries, thankfully amortized over zillions of sold tests. Few bit of plastics made in SE Asia in very high volumes. A few ml of reagents made in India (like most pharma agents nowadays). Everything assembled in China.

      We know the bulk cost in Europe is 1.2 – 1.7 per test (or the pharmacies wouldn’t sell them profitably at 5.20eur)

      Add the US regulator compliance, and it’s … 13 USD ?!?

  3. Here in the US online sales never stopped. I bought all my home tests kits online, because their price was one third of super market price. There was a time when delivery took a week. Tests are pointless unless used as preview for air travel abroad or setting foot at the physical door of some major corporations which require negative tests to be there in – person: why bother going and testing if home test is positive?

  4. Hannafords in Maskachusetts has test kits for 24 bucks. Piles of them. Out in the sales bins before the checkout counters. If you are sick enough to want a test is it a good idea to out in public and buy one?

    • GB: This is an excellent question. In 2020 going out when feeling unwell was considered antisocial. Infection rates were much lower in 2020.

      I think the media is currently pushing more celebrity narratives that can be summarized as: “I have been infected, I feel terrible for my recklessness, but the vaccine saved me and my family!”

      After which 50% of the American population praises the celebrity for being such a wonderful and considerate human.

      To be part of this illustrious club, you need to test yourself. You can then frame the positive result and hang it on the wall next to your vaccine certificate and a saint icon of Mx. Fauci.

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