The latest reports we have been getting from the most carefully protected area in the United States of America, the White House, and the many Covid-19 infections attacking the President and the many high-level personnel in the Administration and their families remind us that testing for Covid-19 means nothing.
Even receiving test results from Covid-19 testing means nothing.
The important question, never answered it seems, is how much time before my Covid-19 test results showed that I had it was I infectious to others – how long could I have given Covid-19 to others before I even suspected that I had it?
I have heard that I am most able to pass it on about 24 hours before the onset of my first symptoms; the symptoms I imagine that suggested I get that test. So, what, two or three days before I discover I’m infected I’m passing Covid-19 on to family, friends, co-workers, nearby strangers?
Until we have a time machine that allows us to go backwards and change our infectious behavior, I guess we have to push for a greater number of Covid-19 tests that are more reliable, faster developing. And get on that contact tracing, too. And certainly, press for that magic vaccine that will eventually, we hope, make Covid-19 a thing of the past like smallpox.
But until then, when we have all that and maybe a time machine as well, the most important thing we can do is wash, mask, distance, stay home. If we don’t concentrate on what we can each do, and wait for a test that can only tell us if we did (or did not) have Covid-19 in sufficient severity that it showed up on that test when we took it, we are pretty much asking for it, aren’t we?
And if that vaccine that’s coming is slow to get here, or shows up with significant side effects, or maybe protects only for a short period of time, will we then go back to relying on washing, masking, distancing, and staying home?
Will “important persons” then continue to underwrite those simple, individually effective protective measures, even those “important persons” who have not, as yet, caught Covid-19? Or if they already have?
And whether “they” do or not, will you?