Daily Quick Tests: A Major Key To Ending The COVID-19 Pandemic

Quick Background: In case you haven’t been following my journey, I worked full-time from the end of March to about the end of July to educate Government leaders about why they should recommend/mandate public mask usage in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Back then, masks were the most important containment tool that Governments weren’t using. Now, the big push in the U.S. needs to be daily quick tests. Our testing system is broken and this is the clearest pathway back to a normal existence.

Please text RAPID GOV to 50409 to send a pre-written email to your Governor recommending that they support daily quick tests.

Here’s a Twitter thread from Dr. Michael Mina, the leading thought leader on rapid testing (for more info go to RapidTests.org):

To stop major outbreaks – we either need major behavioral change – seems unlikely – need to shutdown the economy again, vaccines (all of which problematic), or we need the federal government to approve and then mass produce simple at home #dailyquicktests

These are transmission indicating tests. Not specialized for diagnosing, but simply for telling someone when they might be transmitting virus.

They don’t need to be perfect, they just need to indicate if/when you are transmitting virus, even asymptomatic, and you stay home.

If using these tests everyday, or every couple days, and negative, then you still do everything else the same. Social distancing, wear masks, etc. I do not want them considered as passports to entry, least not yet.

Instead, The power of them is at the community level…

If most people are using them in an area where community spread of the virus is high, frequent use by most people will sever transmission chains. This in turn will cause outbreaks to diminish quickly.

Once population spread is greatly reduced, then everyone is safer

This is an important point because I hear a lot of people complain that they don’t want a false negative result. They want a perfect transmission indicator. That misses the bigger and more important point!

If a transmission indicator test only detected superspreaders (with high viral loads) and this stopped most superspreading events, I think we can all agree that that would be a massive victory (superspreaders likely account for a majority of new infections).

But these tests will do more than just detecting superspreaders. They will catch many many people who are most likely to transmit and on the days they are most likely to transmit.

Stopping most but not all transmissions will effectively stop outbreaks by driving Re very low

This idea isn’t new. It is why vaccines do not need to be 100% effective nor be given to 100% of people in order to completely stop outbreaks.

We just need daily tests that can stop most transmission events…

If we can stop most transmission events during an outbreak, the outbreak will die out!

Then everyone is safer and we can dine out again, go to school, go to work etc, with very low risk because the absolute number of cases will be so low everywhere that everyone is safer.

So let’s not let the perfect medical diagnostic test get in the way of a damn good transmission indicating #dailyquicktest.

We don’t need anywhere near perfection to bring this epidemic to its knees. We just need federal government to approve and mass produce these tests.

Finally on the video, @j_g_allen did a tremendous job putting it together!!

A small perhaps obvious clarification – they aren’t quite as simple as printing paper, but it is meant to get the point across that the tests can be made in the many millions if the feds get behind it!

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Cam Woodsum
I started Need Change to write about important issues regarding society, politics, media, climate change, COVID-19, psychology, and racism. My work has been featured by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the U.S. & U.K. Governments. Keep reading to hear the perspective of someone who grew up in America, has lived in 15+ countries, and is deeply passionate about uniting humanity and improving the world. Feel free to click the chat in the bottom right if you ever want to talk! I'm friendly :).