Keeping Up with the COVID-19 Epidemic

Welcome to joelhay.com. I am a PhD Health Economist whose mission is to generate and share reliable and transparent evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, and to critically examine the institutional policies made in response to the epidemic around the globe.

We could end this lockdown in 72 hours if officials ordered testing of stored blood samples in hospitals, blood donor centers, clinics and labs.


WHY TEST STORED BLOOD SAMPLES?

Because 1) COVID-19 was present everywhere long before the lockdowns, 2) although antibody tests are imperfect, they will show that the prevalence was the same in late 2019 as it is today.

WHY CONTACT TRACING DOESN’T WORK

Because 1) the virus is very contagious and everywhere already, 2) contact tracing is disruptive to people’s lives and can lead to discriminatory practices, and 3) it is unknown how to use any such contact tracing data to reduce C19 transmission risk.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?


Maintain infection precaution measures for high-risk individuals (e.g. nursing home residents, immunocompromised, elderly with comorbidities), including appropriate PPE, handwashing, and avoidance of large groups.

Reopen all schools, colleges and universities as quickly as possible. As of May 1, 2020, only 9 children under the age of 15 and only 50 under the age of 25 were reported to have died in the US.

Allow any and all businesses to open completely if they are willing to do so and decide what social distancing measures they would like to implement.

Relax and use common sense. Panic doesn’t help.