Success of “Controlled Spread” Depends on Widespread Testing

A key ingredient missing from the “controlled spread” strategy espoused by the writer of “Co-op Community Should Be Open to Alternate Approaches to COVID” in the October 2020 Shuttle, whatever else you might think about his views, is that controlling anything about this virus requires widespread, affordable, accessible, and reliable testing — a tool which we still don’t have a year later. Absent that, and consistent, high-quality infection data, it’s a piece of wishful thinking bordering on sophistry.

Furthermore, the same people who resist acting in ways that might provide us as a society with the means to channel infection away from vulnerable populations are the ones advocating for its spread, and decrying the application of technology to defeat it. Healthy personal choices are a necessary, but not sufficient deterrent for this virus, and many other diseases that defy our natural ability to counter them.

— Dan George