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Corona Testing in a distributed republic.

So my bet with elliot went south quickly and I already paid him a couple of days before we hit 20k Us deaths.

I am still optimistic though that

  1. lockdowns and social distancing will have a big effect
  2. sadly the very old sick are the main victms and that we’ll see exponential growth level off.

Figuring out a strategy for trying to return post lockdown but pre-vaccine is important, so here’s a modest proposal

  • Prereq: quarantine ends and testing becomes much cheaper/faster available&
  • When you get tested you associate it with guid/public key on your phone presumably in an app
  • Testers publish guid, result and date of test to a database/block chain
  • Now you want to get a hair cut or go-to a bar
  • You have to tap your phone against another phone on the entryway (nfc presumably)
  • If your phone’s guid is tested clear in n days you get a happy green
  • If m’s day then maybe a warning orange buzz to remind you
  • no test or past m days red alarm and social pressure or a bouncer makes you leave

N, M are configurable based on the establishment’s risk tolerance. A sporting event might require testing in last 2 days. Also maybe testing for antibodies gets you a higher n, m.

One of the goals here is to avoid facial or cell tracking and the draconian privacy invasion that entails. The business’s reviewer app could log/track who was where at what times and later warn people if they were the same place as person who later tested postive. This has some abuse potential though.


  • Android phones with nfc are cheap for a bussines to buy.
  • Can reset your guid and avoid bussiness that care.


  • Tapping might spread disease.
  • Hard to enforce at open areas like parks, playgrounds or malls
  • Leads to a national id and government databzase