The technocracy here in the U.S. seems to be pinning its hopes for beating coronaplague on testing and contact tracing. Example: “Here’s A Way To Contain Covid-19 And Reopen The Economy In As Little As One Month” (Forbes, by a Boston University econ professor). Excerpts:
The solution is PCR group-household testing of all American households every week. Doing so will require running only 6 million tests per week, which is eminently and imminently feasible. … all household members can spit into a single container and deliver or mail that container to a test-collection site with a filled out label detailing all contact information of all household members. … If a household tests negative, each household member would be notified to go to their local pharmacy to receive a green wristband coated to change to red after one week. After one week, everyone in the household would provide a new sample and be re-group tested.
This system is voluntary. But if you choose to have your household tested and receive your green wristband, you’ll be permitted by your employer to return to work, by your teachers and professors to return to school, and by proprietors to enter their restaurants, shops, cafes, etc. You’ll also be allowed to frequent the beach, attend concerts, go to the movies, …
Any household that tests positive will be required by the local board of health to quarantine in place for two weeks and then be re-tested. Households that don’t voluntarily get tested will be free to come and go as they wish. But without their green bracelets, they will have a hard time entering into workplaces and other establishments. Employers who hired the untested could face legal liability. The same holds for any business serving the public who lets someone onto their premises without a green bracelet.
So it will be sort of like the First Amendment free speech guarantee. You can say that you’re opposed to race-based or gender-ID-based hiring (“affirmative action”), for example, but not if you want to get or keep a job/paycheck. Under the new public health regime, even those without jobs will find that what had been their Constitutional rights can be kept only if they never want to leave their house to shop for food, get on an airplane, meet friends at a restaurant, send a child to school, etc.
Let’s assume that the Constitution does not get in the way of building the glorious police state envisioned by the technocrats. Do we think that this can be accomplished successfully by the U.S. government?
Yale estimates that there are roughly 22 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Our government can’t find any of these folks, presumably, because otherwise they would have been deported. Yet now we’re saying that we can leave our houses and go to work if and only if the same government is able to find and then precisely track every American who ever becomes infected with the coronavirus?
And what about those 22 million soon-to-be-Americans whose documentation is not quite in order. Do they answer the phone and open the door to the friendly government testing and tracing agents? Do they supply a biological sample so their DNA can be extracted and parked in a database? Do they give the government agent a list of all places visited, with dates and times, and the names of everyone else who was there?
(It will be like “I live in constant fear that Trump will deport my Latina mother-in-law who lives at 1837 3rd st, LA 90023, blue house. She gets off work at 6.”?)
Is it credible to think that this hyper-efficient government operation will materialize and that Americans, including the undocumented, will cooperate with it?
(How does this play out on Facebook? A rich (via marriage) white woman (Ivy League PhD and college professor) in Manhattan, noting that her neighbors, especially the young healthy ones, were ignoring social distancing directives:
The combination of this protracted, seemingly endless sheltering with the better weather means that unless new regulations are put in place to indicate some sort of progress or at least some sort of action plan on the part of officials to facilitate and catalyze progress (yes, we all know that means more testing, contact tracing, etc), people are just going to break the same old regulations we’ve had for the past two months.
There are roughly one million undocumented immigrants in New York. Why do they open the door and cooperate with the friendly government testing and tracing agents?
it seems you are claiming that undocumented immigrants are responsible for propagating the corona virus.
That wasn’t my claim. In your post you talk about a technocratic solution, testing and tracing, that requires all residents of the city to cooperate with government officials. The residents will supply samples from which DNA can be extracted. The residents will give the government agents detailed information about everywhere they’ve been and everyone they’ve interacted with. My point was that not all residents of NYC may be equally eager to cooperate with this dream of technocratic coronaplague control.
She comes up with a new epidemiology theory:
well, then easy: it’s up to the documented people to comply in order for their “documentary herd immunity” to help protect the undocumented and vulnerable. The terms here are metaphorical as well as literal/ technical.
In any event, the undocumented are largely the ones still hustling out there and, eg, doing the deliveries to keep the lives of many of the documented comfortable and sheltered.
I.e., you can have a substantial share of the population, which is in fact the most likely to contract the coronavirus, be outside of the testing and tracing umbrella, and still eliminate the coronavirus because the people who cooperate (and therefore don’t get infected) will provide a “documentary herd immunity”.) Full post, including comments