Sep 7, 2020

Testing everyone to bring down the numbers

In the newest attempt to avoid a closure, a number of cities are calling on its residents who have no reason to think they might have CoronaVirus to go get tested. Until now one had to have a really good reason to get referred for a test - either an actual exposure or having symptoms, or in some cases living in a hot zone  was enough. Obviously one could lie to his doctor in order to get referred for a test, so it was not really all that difficult, but on the straight and narrow, people with no justifiable reason could not get tested.

Calling on the general public to get tested, just out of curiosity with no actual reason for it, is simply a way to fiddle with the numbers. The more people tested, with more results coming back negative, will counter balance the mass amounts of positive test results, and might be able to push a city down from red status, or near red status, to orange or yellow. The mayors of some cities, like Bnei Braq and Elad, are calling for its residents openly to do this to help the cities avoid a closure. Others, like Bet Shemesh, are doing it more surreptitiously. Making an announcement as if they are providing a valuable service tot he public - we arranged easy testing for anyone who wants. Well, anyone who needed it until now easily got it, so this is really unnecessary unless they want to just bring the ratio of positives down. 

Heck, I might even go get tested. Out of curiosity. Though I would prefer an antibodies test. The Corona test is only a moment in time. it would only mean I have it now, or don't have the virus now. It would not tell me if I had the virus two weeks ago or two months ago, and it does not tell me anything about the potential of contracting the virus in two weeks or in two months. So, for someone like me who is just curious but is 99.9999% sure I don't have the virus, I really have no reason to get tested, and really have almost no benefit from this.

I do hope that getting tested like this does not require any quarantine or isolation. normally when one gets tested for Corona it requires quarantine at least until the results come back (which today is pretty quick). if it did, it would be a big deterrent preventing anyone form bothering to get tested. I am curious about the test, but not willing to put myself in quarantine just to satisfy that curiosity. it makes sense that the normal quarantine rule should not apply in this testing scenario - quarantine was needed because the test was given due to exposure or symptoms. Now they are testing people with no suspicion, so there should be no need for quarantine. but the flyers don't say so, so logical or not it might not be factual.

In Bet Shemesh they are opening a testing center starting today from 4pm until 10pm (I don't know what happens with this if they impose a curfew from 7pm until 5am). The center will be by the Matnas on Dolev St in RBS A. All you need to bring with you is your teudat zehut.

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  1. This is great news - in an ideal world the red cities, or even the entire country would test as many people as possible. Yes it would bring down the percent of positive tests in that area, which would improve the rating of the city, but it would also help to identify and isolate anyone carrying this deadly disease and help limit its spread.

    If it was possible to test 100% of citizens and isolate everyone who was positive we would be able to beat this thing.

  2. this should have been the policy for the past 6 months, but now it isnt better late than never. it is being used cynically just for one purpose - to bring the numbers down and avoid closures. and now it is being promoted when nobody is interested any longer in getting tested.

    1. It's a good idea. Those who are asymptomatic & infected who take the test hoping to avert "red" will end up having themselves & their family quarantined. Given that most of those infected are now roaming around freely, mass testing would be a good idea. You can remove "red" & isolate those who should be isolated.
      For the rest of us: follow the damn rules! Wear a mask & wear it properly! Keep as distant as possible even with the mask. Don't socialize unless absolutely necessary. Understand that gov't ministry guidelines are extremely lax & we should be far more fastidious than required by law.


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