Corona virus follies- the 30% solution

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) - IMDb

Coming soon to a medical office near you…….

Dr. Mayo: “Mr. Smith, I am afraid I have some bad news.”

Smith: “Oh, no, doc. Is it about my blood tests?”

Dr. Mayo: “’Fraid so. Your blood test shows you have colon cancer.”

Smith (with trembling lips): “Doc, are you sure?”

Dr. Mayo: “Well, there is a 30% false positive rate.”

Smith (hopefully): “Gosh, doc. That’s good, right? It could be wrong. What happens now? Will you repeat the test?”

Dr. Mayo: “No. I have you scheduled for colon surgery.”

Smith (in disbelief): “But, doc. Why not repeat it first?”

Dr. Mayo: “Well, it won’t be any more accurate than the first one. And, besides, we just can’t go around repeating tests on everyone. There aren’t enough to go around, and they’re expensive. Hey, remember, you have a 70% chance that the test is right. Those are pretty good odds.”

Smith: “How can you expect me to do something this radical based on a 70% chance of being right?”

Dr. Mayo: “Hey, nothing in medicine is 100%.”

Smith: “I can’t believe this. You said I had no risk factors. I don’t have any symptoms. This was supposed to be just a screening. How will you know what part of my colon to remove?”

Dr. Mayo: “That’s just it. We don’t, so we’ll just have to take the whole thing out. Don’t worry, people live perfectly normal lives with colostomies.”

Smith: “No! Doc, this is crazy. I can’t turn my life upside down like this. I have a business, employees, a family. They depend on me.”

Dr. Mayo: “Mr. Smith, that is a very selfish, irresponsible attitude. I am only acting in your best interest. Think of all the people who will be negatively impacted if we don’t do this- the operating room nurses, the laboratory personnel, the pathologist, the hospital administrators, the housekeeping crew, and many others. Think of the ripple effect.”

Smith (sheepishly): “When you put it that way, doc, let’s do it!”

Dr. Mayo: “Great! Now, let’s look at your insurance coverage. By the way, do you have any friends who want to be screened for colon cancer?”

(Current tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are currently giving a 30% false positive results. Turnaround times for screening are as long as two weeks, which is about as long as most authorities allow that this valid to show someone might not be infectious. Someone needs to tell the virus it is not allowed to infect anyone during that two week window)

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