Some lockdown restrictions are back in parts of Northern England, and as I read through the news article about it, I realised something. I realised how the word “Household” quickly replaced words like “Family” and “Friends”.
If you convince us we are nothing but households, it’s easy to convince us you can put restrictions on us. After all, we are not people, persons, and definitely not families. Just households. Your mom is no longer your mom, but someone in a different household. It’s easier to dictate to households what they can and cannot do, than it is to dictate to parents and their children or boyfriend and girlfriend who want to see each other. But if you reduce us to households and get rid of our relationships, it is easy to convince us you can allow or disallow our interaction.
What is reducing us to households if not an attempt to weaken ties with our family and friends so we don’t rebel against these restrictions? Just turn us into brainless TV consuming, not questioning anything obedient members of society, where family is just some word you hear in old movies. We have Zoom, we can tell Alexa to turn on our TV, and our Amazon parcel is only 6 stops away. Who needs distractions like a family, friends, and the sense of belonging?
Do you ever text your friend and suggest you should get together and they say “Yeah, when things go back to normal, we should go to the pub or something!”? Do you ever scroll through your social media feed and see people making holiday plans for when things go back to normal? Do you ever visit dating sites and see people looking to date after the lockdown? I bet you have come across at least one of these people. Or maybe you are one yourself. Making plans for when we are given thumbs up to get on with our lives. What if planning and arranging your life from now on will never be the same? What if things don’t go back to normal? What if lockdown ending is not what we should be anticipating but what comes after?
Are we in control? Are we truly in control of our lives? Are we the authors of our story or are we just narrating it? Are we making the decisions or are we just choosing between the options provided for us? Maybe we are all enslaved by the algorithm that advertises careers, products, lifestyle choices and romantic partners to us and we stick to choosing between the options provided. The endless chain of choices creates the illusion of freedom while be become dependent on the state or corporations to give us what we think we want and need.
We never needed Netflix. Nobody needs Netflix. Think about it. I am sure a lot of you can relate. You want to watch a movie but now you are bombarded with choices and none of them seem to scratch that itch. You scroll through recently added and the most popular. Then you move on to comedies and then maybe you check another category only to find nothing. You’ve just spent twenty minutes deciding or rather choosing between the options provided by somebody else. More often than not, it’s too late now, you have to be up early and if you started watching something now, you’d not get enough sleep. Sometimes you might settle for something just for the sake of it. Either way, your time has been wasted and you are not satisfied. Do you think people who run Netflix, waste their time on watching movies or lose sleep to watch entire series overnight? Isn’t it ironic that the more options you have, the less happy you become? The options are almost limitless. You know you can watch a certain movie any time and unlimited number of times and yet for this very reason you are restricted. Back in the day, when I was younger, we were restricted by the number of options. We had to go to the video store and rent VHS tapes. We had less options but enjoyed more freedom. More isn’t necessarily better.
But I digress.
Do you think fast food chains are ran by unhealthy and obese CEOs or that cigarette manufacturers by heavy smokers who are on the brick of getting lung cancer? No. For the same reason why a drug dealer is not a junkie himself. They want you to buy and use their product. Time, money and health are their resources and they won’t waste them like they want you to. They need you to rely on them while their mind is clear and they continue to make money because you are willing to waste your resources – money, time and health on useless subscriptions, alcohol, cigarettes, unhealthy food, drugs, trainers and expensive clothes. You submit to their rules. They don’t live by them. I’m not saying they are all evil. I am saying that a CEO or a founder of a clothing company, doesn’t spend countless hours walking around shopping for trainers and jeans. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t spend his days scrolling through Instagram seeing what other people are doing with their life. He has a whole team of spies to do it for him. But seriously, these people spend every waking hour trying to improve their product, their company, their life and to find ways to make more money off you. In a way they don’t care that you are wasting your money on their products or life on their platforms. Just know that they don’t. They think of more ways to get to you. To get to know you. To advertise to you. They live by different rules. They’ve earned it or sold their souls to the Devil to get there. You choose.
We have seen the proof with our own eyes as soon as shops re – opened. People queuing to buy, to browse, to consume to enslave themselves and submit to the will of the elite. This is what we have become. Defeated and braindead. Crawling through the High Street abandoning our purpose in life for a new pair of Nikes believing they will help us walk into happiness. They don’t realize that happiness is going to pass them by as they are distracted and seduced by a temporary fix. They are even willing to accept the New Normal and sacrifice their sanity by waiting for the security guy to let them in. Public toilets are now guarded too. Can’t have too many people using the facilities now, can we? The town is full of arrows and footprints that must be followed and there are people in uniforms enforcing the one-way pedestrian system which drives me mad. Police walk around enforcing it too and making sure people don’t gather in groups while shopping. I could not go through it just to get a new pair of jeans.
But the New Normal has arrived. It seems to be here to stay. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this New Reality is everyone’s reality. No. Just like the founders of Netflix don’t waste time endlessly browsing through it, the people who introduce this reality are not the ones who will live in it. Your politicians don’t go shopping. They have assistants doing it for them. I know someone who does it for a living. She works as a personal assistant of a wealthy family and up until recently she worked for an Arsenal player. She does the bills, food shopping, walking the dog and everything else in between that distracts the rich and successful from making money. Nothing wrong with that but just remember, they live in a different world and pay others to do the dirty work in the real world while they focus on their careers and expanding their wealth.
Politicians are no different. They are creating a world for us, not themselves. People think things are going back to normal, but they are not. Try going to your favourite pub when it opens. Try to get a haircut on the 4th July. Try to have a wedding or arrange a funeral. Everything that you used to take for granted is gone or changed forever. Modified to fit the New Reality. The reality of the common man and woman. While we adapt to the world with no handshakes, no affection, no singing at weddings, no socialising in pubs, the life of the elites will, for the most part, remain the same. Like I said earlier with Mark Zuckerberg. He doesn’t check his phone all the time for a new Facebook comment, Instagram like or Whatsapp message. He cares that you do. He is in business of making you waste your time seeking approval of others on his platforms. And while the world changes before your eyes, the rich, powerful and famous people will carry on as normal. Some of them might have spent the last few months on a yacht surrounded by supermodels and don’t even know that 99.99% of the world population were absolutely not affected by some Chinese virus.
I was just reminded of Dark City, a great movie I recommend everyone to watch. It tells a story of a man who finds himself in a city ran by powerful entities who rearrange the city and the lives of its citizens when they sleep. Every morning they wake up not remembering who they were the day before. They have a new family, new house, new job and don’t even know it. He discovers the truth. The entities he is up against create new reality every night. New rules that don’t affect them in any way. They execute their plan and the people of the dark city are just subjects of their experiment. Have we just woken up in The Dark City? Some of us act like we barely remember our life before the quarantine. Others act like they never want things to go back to the way they were. Yet others live in denial and think this is still only temporary. A handful of us are awake and try to take on the powerful entities who are ruling over us and are rearranging our lives with an illusion of our consent.
On the bright side though…
Football is back, isn’t it? The excitement and passion are back… well, not quite. You can’t go to a match. Are you ever going to be able to? At least the way it was before? Shoulder to shoulder with the fans of your team. Jumping, singing and celebrating together? Are you ever going to be able to go to a game without being treated like a big bag of germs? Probably not. So, this aspect of your life is gone. Sure, you might try it for a while but eventually you will get sick of it. Just like we all are of queuing everywhere and being reminded that we are all murderers if we don’t wash out hands or cover our face with a mask or a cloth (they both seem to be equally useless but while they cover your mouth, they signal your virtue). While your employment is still a big question mark, football players are back to work. Kicking the ball and getting paid millions. Not much has changed for them then. Empty stadiums are nothing new in football either. But even when fans are allowed back in (in reduced numbers to observe social distancing), most players will not notice the number of supporters and they probably won’t care what you had to go through to get to your seat. They play, you watch. They don’t queue. They play while their assistants are queuing for their groceries and after the game you will have to queue for yours.
Movie production is probably going to resume soon too. Do you think we will see the new normal there? I doubt it. Movies will remain normal and will ask for your money and won’t care how dreadful your trip to the cinema is. I realized this when I watched Dave Chapelle’s most recent stand up. It was filmed a few weeks ago in America. It was outside. He was on stage, doing exactly what he did before. The audience’s experience was different. The seats were spread. I assume they could only sit together if they arrived together and they all wore face masks. Not just any face masks. They had Chapelle logo on them but that’s beside the point. I think Dave Chapelle is a great comedian and this has nothing to do with him. The point I’m trying to make is that stand ups, musicians and other live performers will at some point resume their lives. The key word is resume because they won’t be affected by the new normal. Not that much anyway. For the past few months, they have been in their mansions with their lives paused. They’ve earned it so I’m not having a go at them. What I am saying is that soon they will all be back performing while who knows what their audience have to go through to see their shows.
The movie industry will return in the new normal too. Are we going to see social distanced Hollywood productions? Or will the movies look like nothing ever happened? While you and I walk around our High Street following arrows and avoiding eye contact with strangers, avoiding conversation and touch with them as they are all potential asymptomatic murderers spreading the deadly disease with their breath, cough and hands, the movies will continue as if there is no pandemic. The fantasy world will be here to entertain you while you live in this nightmare and walk through a maze everywhere you go. Their convincing trailers with explosions, car chases will trigger emotions in you and Hollywood stars will invite you to go to the cinema and contribute to their lavish lifestyles while your life is a living hell and you a ticking time bomb. You will pay the same price or more for your ticket as you did before you even knew you could put “social” and “distancing” together and it would make sense. In other words, your cinema experience will not be the same. You will queue, walk through a maze, queue to go to the toilet (if going to the toilet will be at all possible during a movie, given you will have to be in a close proximity with other germ carriers when leaving your seat). Saying that, going to the toilet during the show might actually be banned. What about leaving the room after the movie? Will you be able to just walk out or will everyone have to walk out in some kind of sequence. What if you have an emergency and you have to leave halfway through? Can you see what I mean? Your experience will be sabotaged while the whole movie crew gets paid and carries on as normal. They won’t care how you get to the cinema and what your experience is like. As long as you tap your card and buy that ticket. Somehow, I can’t see cinemas lowering the prices because of your inconveniences.
When things go back to normal…. What? Like going to the pub and not being able to interact with strangers? Like going to the pub and not being able to stand at the bar? Like waiting for an appointment with your hairdresser only to find out they aren’t allowed to talk to “control the virus”? Like not being able to sing at weddings or fathers being banned from walking the brides to the altar? Like having to follow arrows anywhere and being followed by people with job titles that didn’t exist a month ago? You know, those who enforce the social distancing and one-way walking system? Do you think it’s going away? When? When we’ve flattened the curve? When we’ve saved the NHS? When we’ve made sure there is not a single patient at any hospital? When we’ve protected every single elderly from dying?
I know what you’re thinking. “No singing at the weddings? Nobody is going to follow that!”, or “No small talk with your hairdresser? I’d like to see them enforce that!”. Of course, nobody will follow these stupid rules. The point is, we shouldn’t have to be intimidated into thinking that singing at a wedding is against the rules, but we will do it anyway. We shouldn’t have to question the morality of it and fear that the antiterrorists will crash our wedding or that the Thought Police will arrest you and your barber halfway through the haircut because he or she asked you if you have any holiday planned. We shouldn’t have to sneak out. So, the point isn’t breaking the rules. The point is these rules being there in the first place and the only way to have some kind of normality is breaking. Rules which again, will not apply to those making them. And in case you aren’t aware of what The New Normal has in store for us, then all of the above paragraph are genuine headlines I’ve seen in recent weeks leading up to July 4th. Another one that caught my attention read Experts say women should cut their hair short to prevent the spread of COVID19. If you’ve ever shamed anyone for not wearing a mask or not social distancing, then I wonder if you would cut your hair short or advise women in your life to do so – for humanity’s sake.
The media is trying to convince us that The New Normal is inevitable and we need to adapt. But you know what? I think the New Normal is faulty and I’d like to see the manager!
Mike Tyson is planning his return to the ring too. How exciting! He will make his millions along with organizers and promoters no matter how you experience his return. While you have to social distance yourself from everyone you love, boxers and other contact sport athletes will continue exchanging punches, sweat and blood. This kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games. Regular people lived in awful conditions while the elite enjoyed the luxuries of The Capital. This is the difference between us and the elite – the celebrities, politicians and billionaires. All of them like to tell us how we should live, they make rules and virtue signal all the time, desperately trying to stay relevant and say the right thing. All from the comfort from their mansions guarded by armed security while we have to live under the regime of their false virtue. In the movie, the difference between us and them was extreme. The Capital was glamourous while the districts were filled with hunger and poverty. Back in the real world The Capital is not a physical place. It’s a state of mind combined of the number of social media followers and big bank account status, power and influence. We, living in the District, are the consumers of their existence, subjects of their power and influence. They do not live in the world they are building for us. We have seen this during Black Lives Matter riots. Number of celebrities bailed out the looters and rioters when they got arrested and many Instagram personalities voiced their support of burning buildings, destroying livelihoods and communities in the name of BLM. It’s all fun and games when it is not your house that’s on fire. It’s all fun and games when you’re rich and famous and live hundreds of miles away. These people don’t have to live with consequences of their words and actions.
Politicians are no different. Do you really think they care if social distancing is doing more harm than good in the long run? Their kids go to private school.
When things go back to normal you will have all the fun in the world, won’t you? You will get your life back. You will get that body of your dreams. You will go for that career you’ve been dreaming about. Unless you live in Leicester. You will have to wait a few more weeks. See, the lockdown is never going to finish. It is no longer about “flattening the curve”. Now whenever the government decide, they can put a single city on a lockdown and then all your plans and dreams have to be put on hold as well. If you have a business, you will have to close again. Maybe for good this time. If you are self – employed, then you may need to consider applying for a permanent job at Tesco. In Melbourne, an entire building block has been put on a local lockdown or a house arrest. Can you see it? This is not going away.
You can forget about being spontaneous. More and more gyms and pubs are introducing booking systems which means you won’t just be able to walk into a pub or gym whenever you feel like it. You will have to book your slot and I bet that won’t be easy.
Let me leave you with this final thought.
Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be constantly told he wouldn’t be successful in Hollywood because of his accent and his size. He was told they were his disadvantages. He used them to his advantage and his accent gave us the Terminator. He also took English lessons, speech lessons, accent removal lessons and even lost some muscle mass for one of his early roles in a record time. He took control of what he could. I know. He was up against his own accent and muscles, not against billionaire elites who use their resources to put you in a Skinner box and control your behaviour. I know it’s hard to be optimistic if you don’t have a safety net, if you live alone and have bills, rent, mortgage and other things to pay. I know but maybe we can all come out of this lockdown better than when we were dragged into it. It’s not too late to give up a bad habit, start reading or listening to audiobooks, listening to podcasts, find an online course and get qualified. It may feel like we have lost control. It may feel like we never had it, but there are still aspects of our lives which we CAN control. We can control what we learn. If you don’t want to wait for your country to turn into China, learn a language and a skill that will let you live somewhere else. Let’s not wait for them to do it to us. They are all just people who’ve read books. One thing I’m going to research when I finish this post, is what part of the economy, what jobs are likely to never return or change forever in the coming months or years. I work in the fitness industry but if there is good reason to believe this sector will suffer, then I’d like to be ahead and prepare myself. I am not suggesting joining them if we can’t beat them. I am saying we should take control of what we can and continue to fight for what we believe. The New Normal is here, we need to resist and push back against it as hard as it pushes against us. Defeat is not an option, but it is a possibility we should be prepared for.
What do you think? Tell me how you are coping with the new normal. Do you need someone to talk to? You are not alone. Get in touch
Who knew that our mobile phone would be the device that would keep us safe from the big and hairy claws of the Coronavirus monster? Turns out it was that simple. All you have to do now is just download the government app and let it do its magic. And it is so simple. You can get your life back, go shopping, visit your friends and go to the beach.
All you have to do is download the app that will track your every step and warn you when you’ve been in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID19. In order for this to work, you will have to be closer than 2 meters with that person for more than 15 minutes. When that happens, as it stands, you will receive a phone call ordering you, or maybe just advising you to stay home for 14 days. At the moment, the app is voluntary, but Hancock has said they won’t hesitate to make it mandatory if not enough people do the right thing and download the app.
I have a few problems with this whole idea. I am sure it was well thought of by smart and sneaky people, who after all have good intentions and our health, wellbeing and safety in mind.
As it stands to work now though, you will call your Corona consultant if you suspect you have the symptoms of this deadly disease. You will be advised to stay home and you will either be visited by your advisor or sent a test kit I believe. If you test positive you will then be called, by your friendly Contact Tracer, who will politely ask you details of your recent interactions. They will need to know people’s names, phone numbers, possibly their email or even home address. On top of that, for the safety of the public and yours, they will ask you what places you’ve visited recently. What train you’ve taken and when. The exact time you went food shopping last. They will then use the data you’ve provided to contact as many people as possible starting with the friends you’ve met and tell them to self-isolate for 14 days. I don’t know how much choice they will have but I can imagine their workplace might be contacted too and they will be told by their employer to not come in and take unpaid time off.
They are also talking about tracing our phones. Now if your phone is close to a phone of someone who has tested positive or who has been in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone who has stood in a queue to Tesco next to someone who tested positive, you will be contacted and advised to stay home for 14 days. The word advised is just a moderate way of saying ordered, really.
I have seen a few different news stories about the contact tracing and how it would work. Some say it would require everyone to download an app and it would be voluntary. Some say it would rely on Bluetooth regardless if the app is downloaded or not. There is however an even darker and scarier version of it which I will get to in a minute. If you own a smartphone and you have installed the most recent system update, you will find your phone now has an option to enable a COVID19 tracing app to work if you choose to download it. If you have an Android phone, all you have to do is go to settings/Google and you will see COVID19 exposure notifications. I assume Apple users can find it in their respective settings too. This new feature still requires an app but who knows how long this will be up to us? I read a Men’s Health article the other day that said smart watches can also pick up COVID19 symptoms. I understand that if you’re genuinely scared of getting the virus then giving up your privacy like this is a small price to pay. But we have to ask ourselves, where will this stop? How can we be sure our sensitive data won’t be shared with advertisers or worse, used against us? Maybe not now. But one day. Think about it.
First let me tell you what a trained Contact Tracer in California has to say about it. I know what you’re thinking, “California? Why would I care about it if I’m in the UK?” Well you said the same thing about the virus 4 months ago when it was in China, so let’s think clearly here because the draconian measures and freedom restrictions have followed the virus around the globe and they aren’t about to stop now. I’ll attach a link to the video so you can take a look. Some of the things she said are already making their way into our lives as we “go back to normal”. The lady in the video, who is a trained and certified Contact Tracer, says that if a person’s test comes back positive, they need to self – isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Isolation in this case means, they are not allowed to be around anyone of their household and they have to have access to their own bathroom. So, if they don’t live alone and have only one bathroom, they may be asked to go to a hotel. What happens if they refuse? Well the authorities threaten the use of force. The Contact Tracer can also request a video proof showing that the infected person has access to their own bathroom to successfully isolate in their own home. It doesn’t stop there. The Contact Tracer will also ask who this person spent time with recently and even if those people are healthy, the Contact Tracer will ask them to quarantine themselves for 14 days. She says that if the person who is self – isolating or the person who is self – quarantining has kids, and nobody to take care of them, they will come and take the kids away. Can you imagine the government overstepping that much? All this even if you’re healthy and someone sick was near you at some point. Not to mention that when you come out of the 14-day quarantine and go to a pub or a restaurant and someone has symptoms or tested positive again, guess what? You have to go into quarantine again. They will take your kids if you have them and it can go on forever. If this sounds like it would never happen or be allowed or that people would rebel against it, let’s just look back at the last 4 months and see what’s happened, what has been allowed and what people haven’t rebelled against. I mean we’ve had police patrolling parks and harassing people sitting on benches and fining couples for Netflix and chilling. Government has taken away your right to make informed choices and take your own risks and now they are also telling you to cover your face and take your right to breathe fresh air away from you and you have stickers, some traffic Marshalls and police on the High Street restricting your movement. Five or six months ago this would have sounded like something out of a sci – fi movie about a failed utopia.
You might be asking yourself how they will know what pub or restaurant you went to and when. This brings me to what is already being introduced in the UK as well. Let’s start by explaining that going to the pub is not going to be the same. You will be required to stay at your table, order drinks through an app (Wetherspoons have had an app-based table service for a while now). No more going up to the bar, dancing or flirting with members of the opposite sex. Before you even go to the pub, you will be required to register with your mobile phone number or email address and that is how they will know where you are and who with. I know what you’re saying. Maybe you will give out a fake phone number or email, or you will create a fake email address and even go as far as buying a cheap mobile phone if they send a confirmation text or something you have to present to the bouncer. But how many of your friends will do the same? What if they do tell the Contact Tracer you were there with them? What if you get caught on CCTV or tagged in somebody’s Instagram post?
Hair salons, barber shops, cinemas, maybe even supermarkets eventually, will all quite possibly adopt the same system where in order to use their services you will have to confirm your attendance with a valid phone number. If you are a member of a gym, then you can expect similar restrictions. Most gyms already have a system in place that helps them monitor who is in the gym at any given time so a Contact Tracer would just need to request details of people who attended the gym while a confirmed patient was in the building. They may not stop there at all. If you don’t want to quarantine yourself for the third time in the space of 3 months, they may not call the police on you but they can contact your employer who will then order you to stay home for 14 days and if you are seen outside or aren’t careful with your social media, you can lose your job or the time spent at home will be unpaid. I can’t be sure but if I have thought of it then I am sure they have too.
I encourage you to watch the video which can be found here https://youtu.be/9Yoa4zCeHAc where it is explained in a greater detail how dangerous contact tracing really is. Chinese citizens live under such regime on daily basis. They are under constant surveillance, spied on everywhere they go by the social credit system, which is like credit score but much more sinister. I learned about it a long time before the pandemic and already saw signs of similar things taking place in the UK, but I believed and hoped it would never get to that stage. Yet here we are. Three months into lockdown and the government is introducing a tracing system that looks a lot like the one in China. Someone commented on a link I shared to my Facebook wall a couple of months ago. He said, “We’re not turning into China”. I wanted to reply but the comment disappeared as he deleted me. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the pandemic is that there is a small step from advice to mandatory.
And even if government doesn’t find a way to make sure everyone has an app on their phone, there are other ways. Think of it like going through a gate at the airport. You don’t have to have your boarding pass on your phone. You don’t have to do everything electronically. You can print your boarding pass but how many people will choose the convenience of having all their details on their smartphone? The same thing might be done with the app. You don’t have to download it but going about your life, like going through an airport gate, will become more difficult. Cinemas, gyms or pubs will require people to prove they aren’t supposed to be self – isolating or quarantining and if they can’t, they may need to find another pub or gym. But for how long? How long before they give in?
If you have an Android phone, then you probably noticed that it’s impossible to remove Facebook app. Up until recently it was even impossible to delete your Facebook account on Facebook. Think about it. Your Samsung phone comes with Facebook as a default app and best you can do is disable it. Who’s to say that every phone from now on won’t have some COVID19 app on it and you will not be able to delete it?
Whether it will be convenient for you to have the app or if it just comes with your phone or next system update, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you won’t be able to go about your life without constantly proving your quarantine status. Maybe even police officers will have the power to look at your phone when you’re outside. Kind of like a random stop and search. This happens on daily basis to every Chinese citizen. Everywhere they go. Phone checking by the authorities multiple times a day. If you want to learn more about the Chinese social score, I suggest using your search engine, preferably different to Google, to look it up. Some people have to scan their face to be let out of their gated housing. You might think this is great technology but what if you are asked to stay at home for 2 weeks but think this is bollox and want to get on with your life, go for a run or exercise? In a system like in China, the camera controlling your gate would refuse to open it for you.
One thing that is really bugging me as I write this, is what about the old people? Old people who don’t have a smartphone? See, all this time, throughout the lockdown we have been reminded over and over again, to think about the old people and their safety. Even if our approach to the tracking and tracing doesn’t turn out to be as harsh and tyrannical as in China, the old people without smartphones will still be left out. Not only from tracking and tracing but also from participating in their social life. They won’t be notified that someone next to them on the train tested positive. They also won’t be able to enjoy a movie in the cinema without a smartphone. What about the old people then?
Unless… unless it was never about them. If it was, then we would create a system that protects them. Instead we put everyone on house arrest. Instead we create tracing system that will leave a lot of them to fend for themselves until they die. Maybe that is the whole point? They will die within the next 10 to 20 years and will be replaced with generations raised with smartphones. Let’s think about it. They created this illusion that we have to protect the elderly. They have shamed everyone who opposed the lockdown so that we can just sleepwalk into this tracking and tracing future still believing we are helping. But I ask, how does this system help older people or people without smartphones in general? If they aren’t able to confirm they aren’t ill or ordered to self – isolate, they won’t be allowed to go to the cinema, a restaurant, maybe even hospital or get an uber, definitely not on the plane, but who cares, right? They will die soon and their old brick mobile phones along with them. Their fragile final years on this planet have been weaponized against us and taken away from them at the same time. Maybe protecting them was never the plan. After all they already suffer from other illnesses and life-threatening health conditions and haven’t been able to get any appointments throughout this lockdown. Some of them didn’t even want to see their doctors because they were scared of catching the virus or they didn’t want to be an inconvenience for the busy medical staff.
The way I see the tracking system is this. It relies on people having smartphones or being accurate and honest about places they’ve been and people they’ve seen. What if a husband or wife visit their lovers? They may not be willing to share that information but if it’s not up to them, they will get caught. Cheating might be immoral but it’s not illegal but a Contact Tracer has the power to end marriages or perhaps in the future even blackmail unfaithful spouses into giving up the details of their recent contacts while promising confidentiality. It may not even be a Contact Tracer anymore. Some other company might get hold of that sensitive information too. Unfaithful partners aside, it looks to me like this tracking system is designed to control the population and not isolate people who are sick. Old people without smartphones will not have the app and will be left to die and live the rest of their days in fear of others. Their children and grand children will reduce visits to keep them alive without realising that staying alive is not living. While the people who contribute the least to the society, slowly die off of old age, neglected cancers and other diseases, loneliness and depression, the young and healthy workforce will remain under constant surveillance. Their privacy taken away along with their freedom of movement and right to take risk. All that will be taken while they are distracted by the illusion of having a choice. And this is only a beginning.