The idea was simple: Why throw away used rapid antigen test kits for the coronavirus when they could be used again and again?
All it took was washing the cotton swabs used to take nasal samples, repackaging them as if they were new and reusing them on other people.
The fraud unraveled this week when five laboratory workers were arrested in the Indonesian city of Medan and accused of reusing nasal swabs in administering as many as 20,000 tests. They face up to six years in prison for violating consumer protection, medical waste and contagious disease laws.
It’s the Doomsday event that reigns supreme over all others: An asteroid, on a collision course with Earth, is discovered with very little time to prevent a possible impact.
In addition to being wonderful fodder for blockbuster movies, this scenario was also the inspiration for a tabletop exercise with NASA scientists at the International Academy of Astronautics’ Planetary Defense Conference last week. The asteroid drill is a mainstay of the biennial conference, but this year was different for two reasons: 1) The event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) the fictional 2021 asteroid could not be stopped despite the scientists’ best efforts, even with a nuclear option…
“One of the objectives of this exercise is to get the disaster management and emergency response community more involved and thinking about what they would be facing if we didn’t have the time to divert an asteroid in space, and did have to take the impact somewhere,”…
“To mount a campaign, even a single mission, given our current state of the technology and how we do these deep space missions, we need a lead time, I would say, of a minimum of two years, and we’d be much more comfortable if it were five years,”…
As a result, the team recommended the development of rapid response spacecraft launches that could blast off within days or weeks of notice.
Nice that they reached a conclusion that might reduce this potential disaster. RTFA for the variables wandering through this part of the exercise. There is new tech in the pipeline that might give us better odds of sorting out a similar danger.
I have to wonder how many times folks have been analyzing this danger to our planet – without concluding it was time to get prepared.