Coronavirus: The Speeding Driver Paradox

The Great Twitter Debates: Episode 1

Trigger Warning: Contains logic and reason

I made a mistake the other day by logging into my Twitter account and engaging in a conversation with a couple of people who were very passionate about living in chains – the lifestyle also known as lockdown. I am truly surprised that after a whole year of absorbing every misinformation and lie from their telescreens, they haven’t come up with a stronger repertoire of arguments. Instead, they tweet the same long ago debunked and ridiculed opinions as they did in April of last year. Opinions they mistakenly present as facts. One of the most often repeated “arguments”, they treat as gospel, is the Speeding Driver Paradox (SDP), which they think declares them the winner of every coronavirus debate. There could, however, be nothing further from the truth, and I shall explain why. Be careful who you share this with, not everyone can handle logic and reason in such high doses.

The Speeding Driver Paradox, like every other myth and fairy tale, when repeated too often, it too eventually loses its original form. The speeding driver becomes drunk in some translations. In others, he drives a faulty car, and yet in another, he just feels like driving on the pavement, running over pedestrians simply because it makes him happy. The last one was a direct response to my argument that one’s happiness is important and in context of COVID19 lockdowns and restrictions -which lead to depression, anxiety and suicides and medical neglect – it is even more important than other people’s lives and health. The mistake, of course, is that feeling pleasure from purposely hurting people is not the same as happiness achieved through personal and professional fulfilment and living a life of meaning. I have addressed it in my article from a few weeks ago titled Redefining selfishness – why being selfish is a good thing, where I explain why one’s own health, happiness and wellbeing should be prioritised, not neglected. Link to the article will be at the bottom of the screen.

Still too slow to catch COVID19

So, the SDP, and its many forms, attempts to compare seeing your partner for Valentine’s Day or your mom for her birthday, wanting to work and support your family to driving like a maniac. In other words, if you want the lockdown to end because it ruins your life by compromising your physical health, financial situation and mental wellbeing, if you deliberately break the restrictions to simply stay sane and alive, to live your life and exercise your freedom to do so, you are exactly like a speeding driver who has no regard for human life. Shame on you!

It originated somewhere around April or May of 2020, when people dared to sunbathe and leave their house for other “non – essential” reasons, such as getting fresh air, but not exercising at the same time. These people just sat on benches and were compared to lunatic drivers. It continues being repeated by those who just want to avoid harder questions and difficult conversations. They don’t want their lack of compassion and empathy to be exposed. They quote this misleading fallacy, which to the untrained eye may seem like a perfectly fitting analogy. The untrained individual will often lose sight of the real conversation and instead try to address the Speeding Driver Paradox and often lose the argument or patience in the process. It’s because this was never the topic of the discussion they were having and it’s unproductive to address points that have nothing to do with it.

Apples and oranges

First of all, it distracts us from the conversation we’re having, where the issue is coronavirus rules. Sure, the SDP tries to argue that rules are there to protect people and “we shouldn’t just let people drive like crazy because they feel like it”, as the argument often goes, but it is, nevertheless, like comparing apples to oranges. Traffic rules protect lives – that’s true – but they don’t cancel people’s individual human rights. For example, traffic rules don’t prevent you from driving your car. They don’t tell you that you are only allowed to drive to work and to get essentials. In other words, you have the right to move around and travel. Coronavirus rules, on the other hand, attempt to take away the very freedoms we were born with.

Furthermore, drivers need the rules to remain safe on the road. Those rules let them know what manoeuvres to expect from other drivers and what they expect in return. It would be quite difficult to drive to work, for example, if everyone could simply choose which side of the road they feel like driving on. They want to stay alive, they want their car to remain in one piece, and they don’t want to live with a burden of killing innocent people, so they must know what the rules are, because doing the opposite is often a life-or-death situation. And yes, if a person is driving irresponsibly, say, speeding, drunk or texting, they are directly responsible for the accident and its casualties. When a person suffers symptoms of an illness, it is often due to their lifestyle choices, daily activities or pre-existing conditions, therefore it is hardly logical to hold the “infector” responsible. Especially when not every infection leads to major symptoms or death. Car accidents, on the other hand, usually don’t end well for anyone involved.

If you look closely, you can see two people hugging

Moreover, traffic rules aim to prevent accidents that may lead to instant death or life-threatening injuries of the participants. It would be hard to apply the same rules to, say, mask wearing in supermarkets because if two people bump into each other when choosing their nutritious ready meals, it’s hardly similar to a speeding car running over a pedestrian – who dies instantly. A person in the supermarket may or may not be infected and they may or may not infect the other person in the isle. Additionally, if someone develops the symptoms after their visit to Morrison’s, can they really know where and when they CAUGHT it? What if they caught it on the train or a bus? When there is a fatal car accident or any car accident at all, you don’t need to ask such questions.  And that’s why traffic rules make sense – they prevent instant, undeniable and unquestionable death or irreversible injury.

It is, however, worth mentioning that most car accidents aren’t caused by dangerous driving. Most such tragedies involve drivers who follow the rules and like every other user of the road, try to stay alive. The number one cause of car accidents, according to Matthew Walker, the author of Why We Sleep is, in fact, falling asleep while driving which is the result of insufficient sleep. This can be caused by not sleeping enough the night before, but in the majority of cases, people are “too busy to sleep” and regularly sleep less than six hours per night. This, as explained in the book, may eventually lead to the overpowering urge to close your eyes for a split second, which is long enough for you to lose control over your vehicle.

It would be more reasonable to call it the Sleeping Driver Paradox then, as you could argue then that the accident is the driver’s fault, because he neglects his sleep, putting others in danger. The problem is though – there is no rule against getting insufficient sleep, there’s only advice. But it would still not relate to lockdown rule breakers, though. It is worth mentioning here that many drivers do, in fact, break the rules and drive a little over the speed limit, they use their car even if it’s technically not fit for the road because of, say, a faulty headlight. People, therefore, choose which rules are less important than others.

Cars and rifles

Another reason why this argument falls apart, assuming that dangerous driving is comparable to, say, shopping without a facemask on, is something that will require us to first abandon all logic to even go there. But let’s see what we can do. The fallacy of this opinion is perfectly illustrated when you imagine a firing squad about to execute a prisoner of war. When I was a kid, I asked my mom why it always took a group men to execute one guy. It was simply, according to her, to make sure a bullet reached the target. A single shooter could easily miss all together or only wound the prisoner or his rifle could jam, all of which would make the execution longer and more unpleasant than it needed to be. A firing squad makes sure that at least one lethal shot is fired.

I believe, in addition to that, there was a deeper reason for it. Standing in a group simply takes the burden off the individual in the firing squad. Believe it or not, but even some Nazis refused to execute Jews and many others justified their actions, as demonstrated in Ordinary Men by Christopher R. Browning. It has also been said that many guns found or collected after the Second World War had never been fired. This shows that soldiers might find it uneasy to shoot at the enemy or execute prisoners. The firing squad provides a release and almost a guilt free fulfilment of the soldier’s task by allowing him to pull the trigger while sharing the burden with others. Only one bullet carries the death sentence. By shooting simultaneously, none of the men ever find out if it is fired from their gun, taking the man’s life or not. They know that only one out of ten rifles fired the deadly bullet, and they can choose the comforting thought that they weren’t the one pulling that trigger. In other words, it takes ten men for one man to execute another.

I’m not trying to compare apples with oranges here, I’m trying to demonstrate why comparing apples to oranges doesn’t work and why the firing squad analogy is far better to illustrate my point than the Speeding Driver Paradox could ever hope to illustrate its own. Let’s compare apples to oranges, however, and see how ridiculous the practice really is.

All of the lockdown restrictions are equally intrusive, and they all equally compromise our physical health and mental wellbeing. Somebody who wants to look after their own health must now live outside of the rules. If you take regular walks to the park, you might have noticed that all outdoor gyms have been closed. Strangely enough, playgrounds have remained open to the public and parents have been trusted to be responsible and keep others safe. The notice on the outdoor exercise area says that people shouldn’t use it because “COVID19 can stay on the surface for up to 72 hours”. I guess COVID19 doesn’t go to crowded playgrounds. It prefers the hardly ever used outdoor gyms. I do still use them, even with the tape around them. I believe it is essential for my health and fitness and I don’t see why I should compromise that. Somehow that puts me in the same category as a lunatic driver. But how many lunatic drivers does it take to kill or injure a pedestrian? When a pedestrian almost gets hit by a speeding car and sees it disappear in the distance, the risk is no longer there. In other words, the pedestrian doesn’t need to wait 72 hours to feel safe to cross that road.

Let’s ignore the obvious inconsistency of restricting access to outdoor gyms but not to playgrounds. Let’s focus on the crime committed.

I briefly covered it above, but let’s explore this unreasonable territory. When you’re involved in a car accident, you know where and when you were hit. It happened on the motorway, on your way to work. You were hit by the blue Sedan behind you, not the red Opel parked a little too close to you at work, not the car in front of you at McDonald’s drive through and not when you were at home while your spouse used the car to collect the kids from school. It also didn’t take ten different cars to finally happen to you. It’s not like the blue Sedan hit a BMW first, then the BMW hit a Ford which then hit a Seat and a Fiat, only for the Fiat to have no symptoms of the accident so it carried on and then hit you. No – the blue Sedan hit you and now you’re in the hospital. Yet, what I’ve just described is what happens when a virus “hits” you. It travels from host to host and you never really know where and when you CAUGHT it. Was it at work? Was it in the shop? Was it somewhere else? Who do you hold responsible? That guy who stood too close to you at the Post Office? That woman who wasn’t wearing her facemask properly or the cashier who touched all your groceries? Or maybe the cashier’s son who notoriously breaks lockdown rules? Or maybe the son’s girlfriend, who got sick, but ignored it, thinking it was just a cold? More importantly, why would you blame anyone?

And before all this? Who really gave your nan the flu? What chain of events led to her getting life threatening flu? Did you bring it to her that Sunday when you were a little unwell? Where did you get it? In the pub? Train? Gym? Work? School? Say, your nan sadly died of the flu that you gave her. If you were able to trace back your infection to the very person who sneezed or coughed on you or hugged you, or simply left their house knowing they were ill, what would you do to that person? Would you hold them responsible for your nan’s death? What if your viral transaction with this person was only a coincidence and your nan actually got sick at her book club? What if you were driving your nan to the book club and the blue Sedan drove right into you because the driver was texting, injuring you and killing your nan. Would you hold them responsible? Surely you can’t honestly answer “yes, I would” to both of these scenarios.

It’s just like with the firing squad. It may take multiple different people, different interactions and places to get infected (with anything). Back in ancient times, when the man flu and common cold still existed, people used a phrase, “Something’s going around”, when everyone they knew was one by one coming down with a cold. Suddenly, your work, your gym, your yoga class, the corner shop, petrol station and your evening baking class became the firing squad and you knew their rifles were loaded with the virus, but you didn’t know who would fire first. Back then, in the pre – COVID19 era, people didn’t expect all these places to shut. They simply accepted their fate or took their precautions to stay safe.

This optical illusion actually shows one person coughing around another in the supermarket

Car accident is instant and often lethal. It affects all participants, not their work colleagues or family. Say, you’re lucky enough to get out of a car accident without a scratch (asymptomatic). You go home and within a few days your spouse develops symptoms of having been in a car accident. He or she now has a broken leg and both arms. See how stupid it sounds?

Traffic rules serve as guidance for all road users so that everyone gets safely to their destination. They are more of a manual that tells us how to use the road. There is nothing restrictive about it because it’s as old as the roads themselves. Without it, there would be collisions every minute. When dealing with heavy vehicles and high speed, they need to move in harmony and agreement with one another. Each unexpected manoeuvre will almost certainly put others in danger, while infecting others (if we assume that people infect others rather than others GET infected), our virus may never actually find its way to the vulnerable person who is waiting for it at the end of this chain of interactions. Therefore, restricting EVERYONE and treating them as potentially dangerous bags of germs is unprecedented, intrusive and wrong.

Furthermore, for the Speeding Driver Paradox to make some sense, we’d have to scrap the word Speeding, since it attempts to illustrate the asymptomatic carriers of the virus – potentially infected and infectious people. As in, people who don’t know they are posing any risk. A speeding car is not potentially speeding, it’s not potentially dangerous, it’s not an asymptomatic carrier of speed. It “knows” that such high speed carries certain death and, if met with an obstacle, will deliver it. Every car on the road right this moment is potentially dangerous (asymptomatic) because as we’ve seen earlier, most accidents happen at regular speed and involve people just trying to get from point A to point B as safely as possible. It is safe to say then, that putting your foot on the gas pedal alone is potentially dangerous. Leaving your driveway potentially puts others at risk. Buying a car at all is potentially dangerous because you might one day cause an accident – even if unintentionally. Perhaps it is the car dealers or car makers who should answer for all the traffic accidents since their products might one day cause one? Or maybe, it just makes more sense for everyone to drive like their life depended on it. Oh yeah, that’s right – it does. In other words, stay alert, keep in mind that there might be a lunatic out on the road today, but don’t get paranoid. Control what you can, which is your focus and hands on the wheel and protect yourself. Hope that other drivers are as focused as you, but don’t take that for granted, don’t assume that they aren’t getting distracted as we speed. This is, by the way, a metaphor for life – protect yourself from what you’re afraid of and don’t count on others to protect you.

As you see, if we agree that wanting to open up your business to feed your family and save what you’ve worked for your entire life is the same as driving while drunk, then we are entering the realm of ignorance and stupidity. The two are not the same. The argument is mentioned, however, to point out that they are equally as dangerous, and many people agree. Some people even think that those who routinely don’t wear facemasks should be put in prison. Some even support the idea of “Quarantine Camps” where the infected would be kept against their will. If you ever need a guide in this realm of idiocy, these people will gladly show you around.

Finally, when we are on the road, we are all vulnerable and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves from irresponsible drivers. When 2000kg of steel is travelling at 90mph and is going right at you, there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can only accept Jesus as your lord and saviour and hope Christianity got it right. When it comes to your health, there are number of things you can do not only to avoid getting sick when “something is going around”, but also to boost your immune system. This is yet another reason why not wearing a mask is unfairly compared to crazy driving. On the road, drivers are to a large extent responsible for other drivers who can’t defend themselves from unexpected manoeuvres of other cars. In a perfect world this would be enough, but we are only human and we get distracted by internal and external factors. In life, people get sick all the time and everywhere and restricting people’s freedom to stop that is unsustainable and again disturbingly wrong. We aren’t responsible for others and their health. Not like that anyway. Not even in the context of coronavirus. Speed limits don’t prevent accidents. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them, but it’s worth remembering that the majority of accidents happen in regular circumstances where cars aren’t heard before they are seen. We can’t stop driving though, can we? So why should we stop living our lives? We weren’t born to save lives, we were born to live ours.

Share it with those who are still lost in the realm of unreason or if you came from that realm and disagree with me, and if you can construct a time worthy argument, comment below and let’s discuss. Drive safe.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it wherever you feel comfortable sharing it. You can also donate below to support my work. Thank you for reading.

Redefining selfishness – why being selfish is a good thing – Deserts of Mars (thedesertsofmars.com)

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The Dark Side of Contact Tracing

Will contact tracing allow us to go back to our lives?

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.

Your recent system update makes tracking and tracing possible

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?

Will pubs ever look the same as before the pandemic?

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.

Is constant surveillance a small price to pay for safety from a virus that may or may not get you?

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.

Convenience VS Freedom

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.

What about them?

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.