Solve pandemic problem by July 4? Here is a plan that has merit.

Paywalled? Here is the gist and cost.

Divide country into green, yellow and red zones based on percentage of infections.

1 per 36,000 would be green and mostly business as usual.

.002 to 1% would be yellow. Some regs but ramped up testing and tracing. Per example, VA is yellow now.

1% infection rates would be red and locked down.

The key is massive testing and tracing.

“The United States now administers more than 300,000 tests a day, but according to our guidelines, 5 million a day are needed (for two to three months). It’s an achievable goal. Researchers estimate that the current system has a latent capacity to produce 2 million tests a day, and a surge in federal funding would spur companies to increase capacity. The key is to do it now, before manageable yellow zones deteriorate to economically ruinous red zones.“

Cost? For testing and tracing, $74 billion. Peanuts compared to what we are now shoveling out of the treasury.

The authors are one economist and one in the science field.

In my opinion, it is the idea that we will never go back to work as “warriors” but rather as people assured of better safety. Public confidence, not coercion, will bring us to better economic places.

Or put another way, seeing the White House sealed up with daily tests, masks, etc., but being expected to risk ones life to supply meat is not helpful.

Do as I say, not as I do, might be effective with parents, but not our government.


17 thoughts on “Solve pandemic problem by July 4? Here is a plan that has merit.

  1. Perhaps in the paywalled part there is an answer, but it seems to me that they forgot that the plan is being applied to people.

    Since the middle ages, the response of people to a plague has been the same. Those who have the means to flee an affected area rush to areas perceived to be safe, taking the plague with them. Serfs were bound to the land and had to stay in place, but the nobility and merchant classes abandoned the cites for the countryside, carrying the plague with them.

    The moment you label an area ‘green’ people from red areas will head there, turning the green area red.

    COVID-19 was brought to Chesapeake by a woman who fled NYC, not knowing she was infected.

    Absent travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine for new arrivals to an area, that plan will fail spectacularly, turning the whole country red.


    1. The key was not just color labels.

      It was the massive ramp up of testing and tracing.

      Telling Americans to be “warriors” however is not a plan. It is desperation.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. That would be equally irresponsible.

            the point is that our degree of mobility and national unwillingness to sacrifice voluntarily for the public good defeats the plan.


          2. then I respectfully request you stop blaming ONLY the big cities for issues that effect all.

            I take it personally because my father and his wife basically decamped from their condo on the Hudson River (New Jersey side) and relocated, including mail delivery, to their second home in Ulster County. They did not do that to escape the virus, they did it because Broadway shut down and my step mother’s job was put on hold. There was no reason to stay and life is a bit more bucolic in The Gunks. It is not a rental. They did not bring the virus with them. And they went to a house they would normally go to weekly during normal times.


          3. That is fine for them, but it does not change the pattern for people in general, that for centuries, it has been people fleeing a plague that spread it.


          4. Then build walls at state borders, or county borders. Arm them with so-called militias and shoot anybody trying to come in.

            Cancel all flights from Point A to Point B. Kill the travel and airline industries.

            If people were responsible, which you have lamented about and I agree with, it would not be an issue. But a PANDEMIC has no respect for borders, walls, or ravings of a deranged cheerleader. Noting is going to end this to the satisfaction of everyone. And 90,000 dead Americans are still dead.

            A lot more could have been done to slow the spread, but stopping it completely is not possible. And now the actions that have been used to contain it as much as possible are under attack by so-called “liberty-loving patriots”. Well, when one of them or their family members get it, I guess that is just too bad.


          5. I didn’t say we could stop it from happening, I am pointing out that it makes the proposed plan unworkable.

            What else, allowed by the Constitution, would have slowed the spread?


    2. RE: “Absent travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine for new arrivals to an area, that plan will fail spectacularly, turning the whole country red.”

      That may be a feature, not a bug. That is to say, travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines would become an inevitable necessity.

      My own first impression is that makes little sense to color-code the country. We get essentially the same thing by default, just be relying on local health systems to define the nature and scope of the epidemic in their own jurisdictions.

      I’m also skeptical that contact tracing and tracking is workable in practice, given airborne transmission and asymptomatic incubation.

      Overall, the plan reeks of Orwellian impulses.


        1. “but it seems to me that they forgot that the plan is being applied to people.”

          Not people, ‘Merikins… a group so intent on defending their perceived “freedoms” they will kamikaze into a pandemic. Other groups have succeeded by agreeing to temporarily acquiesce; their Constitutions are not suicide pacts.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I see your point.

            Yes, some people I once respected have taken that attitude, proudly refusing to wear masks or take other precautions to protect others.


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