Thursday, 9 April 2020

Learning from porn #covid19nz


Great. We're now over halfway through house arrest. We've now been locked up for over fourteen days: the period over which you can have the virus but still be asymptomatic.

Which means that every one of you who's been rigorous in your bubble can now celebrate that you know you haven't got the virus.

While sipping your celebratory champagne, you might reflect that it's a hellishly expensive way to test who in the population has or hasn't got the virus.

This is a unique virus: virulent, highly transmissive -- and that asymptomatic period, when you could unwittingly be a modern-day Typhoid Mary delivering doom to all around you, does make it uniquely threatening. Hence this enforced quarantine, revealing who's got it while limiting its spread.

But I can't help thinking about porn. (And there's a sentence you don't see often enough in print.) For anyone working in that industry, HIV-AIDS used to be just that sort of threat. Unknown, unseen, potentially deadly -- every sexual partner a potential threat. But it's not how it is now. Widespread testing by trained folk means porn people can safely screw because everyone in the menage has been certified safe.

Certified safe by testing. What an idea!

I can't help thinking that some similar sort of scheme would have been a lot cheaper all round than tested everyone by locking us all up for two weeks.

But perhaps it is something to think about as one way to get us all unlocked.
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2 comments:

  1. It is, but there are two problems. 1) The serological tests still suck. They take time to develop. 2) Transmission is droplet/airborne.

    The first was true once for HIV too, which created a significant amount of fear. And while we thought the second might also be true for HIV, it turned out not to be.

    That makes this virus significantly more intractible.

    Imagine an additional thing, which I think is possible and even likely. The virus could have long-term cardiovascular, neurological, or even immunosuppressive sequelae.

    I don't want to stoke that fear from a policy standpoint. But personally, we have to prepare ourselves mentally for the worst.

    The situation sucks.

    Your posts on this are great, BTW.

    We just have to get through this. FWIW, I'm grateful I'm in NZ and not the US. Whatever happens, I know Kiwis will pull together better than Americans.

    Would love to have a drink with you all when we get to Level 1 or 2. :)

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  2. Thanks, yes, And I'm no microbiologist, and in no way want to discount how hard decent testing will/would be to develop and roll out.
    The situation does suck. But without some kind testing, that asymptomatic period in which one is also highly transmissive period means, if we ever do get fully unlocked, we'd all be playing some kind of Virus Roulette. Not even as much fun as that Russian kind. :-/
    Look forward to that drink!!

    ReplyDelete

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