For the last month, a debate has raged over which approach to managing the spread of COVID-19 is correct. One aspect of this debate is about the efficacy of widespread testing.
South Korea and Germany have pursued aggressive testing. The Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK – at least initially – limited testing and instead sought to create herd immunity by letting the virus run its course. Which approach is better?
Given the implications of getting the choice wrong, opinions towards both approaches have been strong and vociferous.
Adding to the confusion, experts disagree about which of many variables are more important for explaining higher rates of morbidity from COVID19. These include the percent of a population over 65 years of age, the case fatality rate, the population density of a region, the availability of hospital beds and ventilators per 1000 population, rates of tourism, usage of public transport, and number of university students in a given area to name a few.