Good COVID Ideas

Across the world, people are coming up with great ideas for how to deal with the COVID emergency. I’ll keep a running list in case others want to copy.

Senior hotline for COVID information, isolation (CA)

Drive-through testing clinics (NY)

Free COVID testing (including emergency room visit), regardless of health insurance (Fed)

Paid sick leave (Fed)

Immune Corps! Enlisting people who have recovered from COVID and are immune to serve on the front lines of the response for people who are sick or in need (I made this up)

Develop hospital surge capacity plans

3 replies
  1. Barry
    Barry says:

    Quick question on the European travel ban as a bad idea. From reading, listening and watching as many experts about this as possible, I’ve some credible public health and infectious disease experts (most notably Dr. Tony Fauci of NIH) repeatedly praise the travel ban that was put in place with China and, now, with Europe. The way that has been explained is that for us to “flatten the curve” (aka mitigate the impact in terms of real numbers of cases and fatalities) we needed to take action to limit the inflow (to the US) of infected persons while also containing and mitigating inside the nation. Do you think Fauci and others like him praise the bans out of political necessity or is there really something to it?

    Thanks for your answer and, much moreso, for this blog! You’re amazingly kind and generous to donate your expertise to the community in this way!

    • Martha Nelson
      Martha Nelson says:

      My concern with the Europe travel ban is that it is perpetuating a false narrative that the risk of COVID is primarily from travelers. This narrative set us back crucial weeks in our response, while we focused on mitigating the risk from travelers instead of realizing that COVID was already transmitting in US communities. Fauci is both a scientist and a politician. I don’t fault him at all for saying that the Europe ban can help flatten the curve, which it may nominally do. But in a time of crisis, when we need all Americans to understand the fundamental nature of the epidemic and risk, the Europe ban sets us back.

  2. Christine
    Christine says:

    Another terrible COVID idea: “Funnel” airports, at least as they are now administered. I am in England now, planning to return to Washington, DC next week. The thought of (1) being crammed into one of those little “moving lounges” (buses) at Dulles with as many people as will fit for 20-30 minutes, to be driven to (2) the immigration hall where hundreds of people are crowded for hours to go through “extended screening”, which apparently consists of being asked a few questions–NOT being tested, which would make sense–makes me think I should stay put. We older folks are supposed to self-isolate in England, but the NHS (health care for all, free at the point of need) is here, and is, so far, coping well. Absolutely no one (homeless, the wealthy, middle-class, working moms, &c.) need worry about paying for tests, hospitalization, ambulance, intensive care, &c.


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