Blitz Q #128: Mass Covid-19 testing in the U.S.: How many can we really test & how long to test everybody?

I got to thinking about this a little while ago, because the more I look, the more confused I get. I’m assuming we can’t test every single person in the United States who wants one right now, which rather stinks in my opinion. In a more-perfect world, a test would be great for the 300+ million Americans out there and it’d just be a matter of collections.

I am trying to find updated figures as far as how many tests have been done in each state and how many not done (and when). I am also curious as to why there are so few testing locations in my neck of the woods. It’s unclear how the testing process goes in my case and I’ve given up…for now. Thankfully, I convinced the owner to just wrap up the week at work and will spend the next two weeks shut down to do a self-quarantine just in case as the peak of this event comes around to us.

Maybe when I’m off, I can find a time and date to test. If I can get my head around the damned websites.

A part of me wonders how many we can realistically test for Covid-19, and the likelihood of getting it done.

Honestly, though, this variance of available locations and rules for going to said locations is starting to really annoy me.

I hope we learn from this big time and never make this unpreparedness mistake again. It’s ridiculous how much we seem to be stumbling over our own feet, on ground level and at government level.

This is what I would like to see if we suddenly had enough tests for everyone and PPEs for those in need. You know they’ve gotten contact info and such for the people who’ve already done it at which locations and areas. Put that in a database so the CDC can get more accurate info as to the numbers who haven’t tested yet. Then, go back and hire those people who were gonna be sent door-to-door (and hire a few thousand more) for the 2020 Census. Give ’em training, PPEs and a list of places to go with an assistant each day. Have ’em visit people at home and offer to test them. Leave contact info in case they’re not there. Have another person try the same route the next day to test the ones that were previously unavailable if needed. Put all that info in to get a better model.

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“Hey, guys, we don’t all need to be here. I’ve got my kits, go to the other houses already!”

That “going door to door for testing” schtick really got me thinking. This way, people aren’t scrambling for info to find a place to test, or sitting in long drive lines or hospital reception to do the testing. Get it done while you’re stuck at home and get on with your day.

I know this is pie in the sky right now, but honestly, I feel like there has to be some better way. Unfortunately, since we seem to have so little capability, I can’t think of a way we could improve the results and fill the gaps of so little testing being done, with so few tests available.

I also hate that even if people are showing “mild” symptoms they’re not being tested. I get the gist as to why when in a place of scarcity, but it’s a catch-22, because testing everyone they can at any stage of symptom development might teach the researchers a ton about someone’s resiliency or perhaps how stages in viral development might differ, if there’s a new step in the evolution, or whatever.

I’m trying to play catch-up on what’s possible, been done, not done, whatever. It’s just tough to get the real gist and figure out what it really means for us peons at the bottom, nationally, state-wide, county-wide, or however.

Guess I’ll keep looking… however I can.

In the meantime, I’m gonna start reading that book on the 1918 pandemic I bought a few weeks ago. Maybe something in there can enlighten me. And that our brave docs and nurses and researchers keep on going, doing all they can with what they have now…and I hope it gets easier and better for them.

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This is one “mission accomplished” moment I want to see soon.

Floor’s yours if you have any thoughts or resources, ideas other countries have done that you admire or hate, etc. I’m all for learning what I can…

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