We should all be more considerate of our actions and how they affect others but one thing I am not down with these are these phone apps. Over 30 countries have adopted “covid-safe” tracing apps. Test, Track and Trace is the new approach for easing down lockdown restrictions. But I am not happy sharing this amount of information. Not that I am doing something bad I don’t want authorities to know about but because the amount of data collected on us is an infringement of our privacy.
The sad reality is we are already being traced every day and watched by the big brother society we live in were have become the products. A 2019 study by researchers from Imperial College London found that “even heavily sampled anonymised datasets are unlikely to satisfy the modern standards for anonymisation set forth by GDPR.” In essence, ‘anonymised’ data can rarely be totally anonymous.
In the UK, police officers are able to detain people suspected of having covid-19 and can fine people for refusing tests under new ‘emergency powers’ rolled out by our government. The new Coronavirus Act allows officers to order someone to undergo screening and testing within 14 days and you will be required to provide biological samples and disclose your travel history. Furthermore, they can force you to isolate. Schedule 21 and 22 of the Act are dangerously authoritarian, being able to forcibly remove, detain, test and isolate anyone, even children, and have been used for exclusively unlawful prosecutions. Whilst these measures have been put in place temporarily to ensure that measures can be enforced when and if necessary, since when did we start trusting the police?
This phone tracking stuff doesn’t happen in Africa. South Africa has started a tracing app test but it very different to many other African nations. But the truth is, life is raw in Africa. You face obstacles every and corona is just another thing that can kill you. Things are very real and not covered in falsities. Death is real and it is more accepted that it is part of each of our lives. We simply cannot fight against death forever which is what happens in the West often. You have to celebrate each day you are given, as if it may be your last. Now I am not saying you want to welcome death but know it is part of the journey.
Malaria, TB, Cholera, HIV and even just gastrointestinal disorders can kill you in these parts of the world on a daily basis. Covid has terrified the western world and even before I left Malawi, it was the western people living there panic buying. Now, don’t get me wrong. You can’t panic buy when you live on $2 a day but even the more affluent Malawians were not stocking up like the western people. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, Malawi were hot on the case on installing hand washing basins at public shopping areas and even at the markets. Life can’t be stopped because of fear of death.
Nor should our freedoms be further taken away because of a virus. This isn’t how you get over death.