Final Word from Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The cabinet is expected to ban the use of antigen tests by unvaccinated guests of restaurants and events, which is another way to twist the arm of those who refuse to get the shot. Not all pro-vax experts are enthusiastic about this, because it means less testing, due to the high cost of PCR tests and the long turnaround time. Epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar complained that a PCR test that is valid for 72 hours might not come back for 85 hours, making it useless. Then there are the age-old issues of false-positives, false-negatives and the correlation between positivity and transmission. These factors can turn PCR testing into a bit of a crapshoot. One heretical idea is to use a mathematical model that takes into account all pertinent data to predict the probability of a positive result. People could then be declared positive or negative without actually running the expensive diagnostics. It would still be a crapshoot, but it would be a hell of a lot cheaper, and the number of "tests" would jump. [ Czech Republic Andrej Babiš cultural ]

Glossary of difficult words

heretical - holding an opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted;

to twist someone's arm - to coerce or persuade someone;

turnaround time - the time needed to perform a task;

age-old - having existed for a very long time;

crapshoot - a situation whose outcome is uncertain or unpredictable.

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