Frequent, Fast, and Cheap is Better than Sensitive

Source: Marginal Revolution.

Tabarrok reports: “A number of firms have developed cheap, paper-strip tests for coronavirus that report results at-home in about 15 minutes but they have yet to be approved for use by the FDA because the FDA appears to be demanding that all tests reach accuracy levels similar to the PCR test. This is another deadly FDA mistake.”

I speculate that the cheap paper-strip tests might offer a solution to the face mask problem. It would be helpful to know and to be able to prove quickly that you are not infectious, meaning you don’t need to wear a mask.

14 thoughts on “Frequent, Fast, and Cheap is Better than Sensitive

  1. So I don’t wear my mask because I am negative.

    Head to the store, and get infected by someone who is positive, but doesn’t know it yet, and shuns a mask.

    I come on home, and then infect others in my family.

    The other issue is that the tests are not even 80% accurate. I didn’t see what the accuracy rate was, but if it were less than the FDA mandate, that means 1 out of 5 tests will be faulty.

    My opinion is that until we get a vaccine, masks are needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “The other issue is that the [paper strip] tests are not even 80% accurate.”

      They don’t have to be. Go back an read was Tabarrok says again.

      Like

      1. I did, and it says the same thing.

        Yes, lots of tests on the cheap sounds good. I understand the accuracy is based on not being sensitive enough to pick non-contagious conditions.

        I think it may be effective for general use, but not to get rid of masks. We are having issues today with violent folks attacking clerks over masks. Imagine if this gives a green light to demand access to a store maskless. How are we supposed to believe someone who is pitching a fit.

        IMHO

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “I think it may be effective for general use, but not to get rid of masks.”

          Police could administer the 15-minute test before writing a citation for not wearing a mask. You are no harm to others if you are not infectious.

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          1. The point is that you are a threat. After you are checked and think you are clear, without a mask, you can get infected. Bring that home, or to the store or workplace and the contagion continues its “happy trail”.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “The point is that you are a threat.”

            Are you assuming that non-infectious people spread infection?

            Like

  2. We have a sign on the wall of our store, near the front door that reads like this:

    We offer three types of service:

    GOOD — CHEAP — FAST
    You can pick ANY two

    GOOD service CHEAP won’t be FAST

    GOOD service FAST won’t be CHEAP

    FAST service CHEAP won’t be GOOD.

    Seems this could apply to the test kits noted, especially the last line.

    Like

  3. no no no this is an open invitation to spreading the disease like mad. Tests with more than 1 or 2% false positives and similar false negatives are reckless and worthless.

    As it is, even the tests they are using are crap.

    Liked by 1 person

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