Coronavirus Test Certifications and Registry

Coronavirus Test Certifications and Registry

Again, in this age of Big Data, the Federal Government and States are totally oblivious to how important recorded test results will be in getting through the Pandemic and back to full employment and in-person classes.  While the coming vaccine may not be fully effective (50% will pass the FDA), may come with feverish side effects for some, discouraging its use, or be easy-peasy, the vaccinated will need an official card to show that they have taken it.  Since cards are forgeable, there will also have to be an official computerized list.  This could get people okayed for jobs, children and other students admitted to class, and get people onto transportation as planes, buses, subways, and cruise ships.

In the half year to a full year before that, positive or negative virus tests, anti-body tests, and hospitalization records and exit tests could clear people for the same safety checks as a vaccine.  Even if someone tests positive now for a virus, the presumption would be that after a time they would be safe and also equipped with anti-bodies.  People leaving hospitals are cleared by two successive negative tests.  

Already, there are 2.7 million tested positive US cases.   While the CDC factor or 10 times as many real cases was only valid in March and April when there was a steep rise, we are again in that situation.  Applying that, would mean that 27 million Americans could already or soon pass an anti-body test.  That is already 8.3% of Americans, who could soon be given safety cards, for whatever situations they would apply.  With our present and future haphazard (literally) restarts of the economy and virus waves, that will rise to a considerable fraction of the population.  

Presently, we are testing plateaued at what is bragged at as a half million tests a day.  But with 330 million Americans, it would take 660 days to test them all, and then after almost two years, you would have to start all over, since we don’t know how long the antibodies last, more than the four months that we have had cases.  

Also, the Coronavirus has already mutated once to a more spreadable, and just as dangerous form.  As the virus gains more footholds, and continually spreads and respreads around the world, we expect many more mutations.  This complicates the question of built-up immunity after an infection, of herd immunity, and the design of more effective and comprehensive vaccines. 

In all cases, we need machine imbed-able readable cards and available web lists to document all of the testing which has occurred, and appropriate clearances for tested from the results.   

Of course, there will always be the paranoid anti-carders in America.  But if they want first choice for jobs, or discounted airline tickets occupying middle seats,  or discounted movie tickets, they might come around.  They also might be more popular on dating sites.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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