Month: June 2020
Moral hazard — forget about it!:
In the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, government leaders have pledged to cover all costs for any traveler who tests positive for the coronavirus while on vacation, according to the Associated Press. In a letter sent out to governments, airlines and tour operators, Cypriot officials said they would cover “lodging, food, drink and medication for covid-19 patients and their families” while on the island.
Tourism accounts for 13 percent of Cyprus’s economy, according to the AP, and with one of the lowest coronavirus ratios per capita in Europe, tourism ministers plan to restart international air travel on June 9.
Here is the full story, which includes other examples.
From my email:
I saw your post about COVID blood brokers–My girlfriend and I had it in March and finally got antibody tests last week when the city opened the free clinics.
I inquired on a national plasma donor site, was directed to CSL Plasma in Clifton NJ, and a donor concierge from LeapCure reached out. They didn’t tell me what the compensation is (the CSL website says it’s usually ~$50 for normal plasma) but they’re calling a roundtrip Uber from my apartment near Ridgewood, Queens all the way to NJ, which is $108 one-way. The concierge said to reach out if there are any concerns with the first trip next week because they’re hoping for up to 2x weekly donations.
What I don’t understand is, why doesn’t the city’s antibody testing program directly link up to plasma donation? I had to go through a bunch of hassle to find out where to donate, and I think the information & coordination friction is a bigger deterrent than anything else. And why isn’t there more collection capacity in the city itself; the long commute seems unnecessary. If this is scientifically important enough to merit real donor spending from biotech, it seems like the city should make even a minimal investment in reducing process friction.
Maybe an integrated, frictionless testing & plasma donation infrastructure should be a permanent strategy for future “zero-day viruses” where convalescent antibodies are the only thing we have to treat first responders…
Here is Alex Armlovich on Twitter.