O, Brave New World! Or is it very new? We’ve seen this play before.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, leprosy sufferers had to wear special clothing, ring bells to warn others that they were close, and even walk on a particular side of the road, depending on the direction of the wind.
Now, in a 21st century update to bells and clapper, Big Tech hopes to use the nearly ubiquitous smartphone to alert people when they come into close proximity to modern-day Chinese coronavirus “lepers”:
[emphasis added to quotes]
Developers are rapidly coalescing around applications for proximity tracing, which measures Bluetooth signal strength to determine whether two smartphones were close enough together for their users to transmit the virus. In this approach, if one of the users becomes infected, others whose proximity has been logged by the app could find out, self-quarantine, and seek testing. Just today, Apple and Google announced joint application programming interfaces (APIs) using these principles that will be rolled out in iOS and Android in May.
Isn’t that special? Big Tech doesn’t seem very concerned about the many privacy issues involved, nor in the obvious drawbacks: Not everybody has or carries a smartphone, not everybody with a smartphone has opted into location tracking or has Bluetooth turned on at all times, not everybody will “voluntarily” download this app and opt into allowing Big Tech to compile such very personal data about them and those with whom they interact.
Will the “app” give permission, so to speak, to the many local health departments to forego the labor-intensive process of contact tracing that should have been policy and practice for, lo, these past 150 years or so?
The father of epidemiology, Dr John Snow, was the first to use this in a methodical and meaningful way back in 1854 at the height of London’s Cholera epidemic.
His contact tracing identified a specific water pump on Broad Street, London as the source of an outbreak from which contaminated water was drawn. He ordered the pump handle to be removed and cases fell. Soon after, the epidemic came to an end. Ironically, victims of the 19th century ‘Broad Street Outbreak’ were nursed under the supervision of Florence Nightingale, whose name is given to the Excel Hospital for this 21st Century outbreak.
This tried and trusted method of outbreak control – identifying cases and engaging with all known contacts – has been largely overlooked and the reason is palpable. It is resource intensive, requires skills to gather, collate and make best use of the information …
For what other purpose do communicable disease divisions of local and state health departments exist, other than to control and prevent communicable disease outbreaks? Isn’t it their job to have the resources, skills, knowledge, and numbers necessary to provide effective contact tracing?
We are losing our God-given constitutional rights through the universal, one-size-fits-all “social distancing” and “shelter in place” regime.
In the Middle Ages, lepers were housed in colonies or in metal shacks outside of civilized areas.
Lepers were often denied entrance to cities (back when towns and cities usually had walls). It was, at the time, a very common practice to simply not let in anyone who wasn’t wanted in the city. This could include the poor, various minority groups, and the sick.
This medieval practice is echoed in some local policies today, as communities face down the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
In what might be one of the most over-the-top and draconian responses to coronavirus yet seen in Montana, Valley County is mandating that people wear government-issued pink arm bands in under to purchase products inside of stores. The measure, enforced by the Valley County Health Department, insists that store-owners keep customers out unless they have the pink arm-bands, which denote the customer has been in the area more than 14 days and submitted to quarantine protocol.
At least that particular health department saw fit to apologize, once their practices came to national attention. What exactly were they thinking?
Lest you think Montana is an outlier, here’s an example from Missouri:
Shannon County wants to keep non-residents from coming into the county because of the coronavirus.
Non-residents, tourists prohibited from entering Shannon County, Mo., unless for essential reasons.
The county issued an order earlier this week, which health officials say is a proactive step to keep the county virus-free.
Normally, this time of year, Eminence starts to come alive.
Businesses are gearing up for the busy, summer tourist season. …
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, tourists are being asked to stay away. …
Got that? Tourists and non-residents are being “asked,” and yet the story talks about an “order” from the Shannon County health department.
Shannon county is home to several state parks and state forests, the Ozark National Scenic Riverway (a federal park), and a portion of the Mark Twain National Forest. One can drive through Shannon county on several state highways and at least one interstate highway.
How the county thinks it will be able to keep “tourists” or “non-residents” out is anyone’s guess. Under what legal theory can they prevent citizens from driving on state roads and highways and federal interstates?
Henceforth, the county will need a new motto. Their current motto is now moribund:
Welcome. Stay a day or a lifetime in Shannon County.
No story I found mentions by what authority a local non-elected bureaucrat can forbid other state or U.S. citizens from entering Shannon county, which last time I checked is still part of Missouri as well as the United States of America.
Tucker Carlson recently wrote about disturbing suggestions that people could be removed from their homes and taken elsewhere (for their own protection and society’s protection, of course).
Says Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO (World Health Organization):
In most parts of the world, due to lockdown, most of the transmission that’s actually happening in many countries now is happening in the household at family level.
In some senses, transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into family units.
Now, we need to go and look in families to find those people who may be sick and remove them and isolate them in a safe and dignified manner.”
Tucker Carlson responded:
Just so you know, we’re coming to your house, seizing your children and “isolating” them in a safe and dignified manner, whatever that means.
Now, that’s not something under normal circumstances, officials casually drop during briefings. It is the kind of statement that might trigger violence. People don’t respond well when you threaten to take their kids.
But Ryan said it like it was no big deal, and that’s how the media treated it. His threat didn’t make headlines in any of the major newspapers in this country. That’s the kind of moment we’re in.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, purportedly this country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, raised the idea of “immunity certificates.”
“It’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure who the vulnerable people are and not,” he said. “I think it might actually have some merit.”
Some experts argue immunity certificates – documentation verifying a person is immune to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – could help reopen the economy by allowing some people to safely return to work, eat at restaurants and partake in activities prohibited by social distancing restrictions.
Got that? If you don’t have your certificate, you can’t participate in society!
Note that they’re talking about immunity, not being contagious and thus a threat to others.
If you’re unfortunate enough to not be immune, then the proposal seems to be that you have lost all your constitutional rights and must remain under house arrest for the duration, without due process whatsoever. You cannot “partake in activities prohibited by social distancing restrictions.”
Mind you, there is not yet one law passed by any elected body that creates any legal “social distancing restriction,” much less lays out punishments like house arrest in perpetuity!
We have been schooled endlessly on the rules. Social distancing. No gatherings of more than 10 people (if that). Wear masks in public and whenever around a gathering of people. Citizens are being asked to snitch on their fellow citizens, like Hitler’s Brownshirts.
Who else but health care providers ought to follow these rules to the letter because who else should know better the results of this pandemic?
We’ve also been told how overwhelmed health care workers and hospitals are as a result of the pandemic.
Submitted for your consideration:
Here are some interesting facts gleaned from the online and print articles and the accompanying video.
- The patient remains contagious.
- In excess of 25 nurses and other hospital employees were gathered close together in the lobby, some not wearing masks around a patient known to be contagious.
- The contagious patient was wearing a surgical mask, not a much more effective N95 mask.
- The patient was picked up by a friend who was not wearing a mask.
- When the patient got into the car, his mask was down below his nose and mouth (about 1:37 in the video).
- According to the print article, when in the car, the patient began to cough, at which point his friend rolled down the windows.
Reporters noticed that the driver had no mask. Did any of the many health care workers offer the man a mask to protect him while he drove the patient home? If not, why the hell not? When told about the fact that the person driving the contagious patient away was maskless, the doctor who heads the ICU said,
That’s not a good thing.
What an understatement! And who is responsible for the bad thing that may come from this lapse?
One has to wonder if anyone at the hospital checked out the patient’s living conditions to ensure that he would be quarantined until no longer contagious and to determine whether he might infect others in the home or those expected to care for him. (Not to mention those who chauffeur him around. All that said, God bless this man and let’s all pray for his recovery and the safety of those around him.)
Why is the hospital releasing into the community a person who is still contagious, during the height of a pandemic?
If hospitals are so overwhelmed with patients, then why were all those nurses and other employees standing around for a public relations event instead of caring for other patients?
Just more of the many things that make you go “hmmm” during this time of Chinese pandemic.