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COVID-19 and Contact tracing — The Grow Network Community
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COVID-19 and Contact tracing

DesireeDesiree Posts: 202 ✭✭✭
edited October 27 in COVID-19/Coronavirus

The new normal of coronavirus...Contact tracing. Where I live our health departments have set up contact tracing for anyone who has been tested positive for the virus. The individual is to try to remember who they have been in contact with that meets several criteria: indoors, time duration over 10 minutes (masked or unmasked) and distance from others.

What are your experiences with contact tracing? Is it going to be your new normal?



  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    In my area, I believe restaurants are supposed to get contact information from at least one person in the dining party so that they can be contacted if there should be a case of COVID during the time that they were in the restaurant or if someone in the party should come down with COVID in the next few days. Bars don't seem to be under those same rules. I have been asked my name and to state my business before going in to two of our larger banking institutions. I have no issue with giving them my name, however, I have told them that it is no body's business on the street, what my business is in the bank and I will not announce my business in a public line-up. I haven't been refused entry yet, but I do think that is a complete invasion of privacy to ask you what the nature of your business is with a bank, while you are in public.

    I am not sure on the rules if you test positive but I think it would be somewhat similar. Asking where you have been and who you may have been in contact with. We have very low infection and transmission rates in my province, although we had a new small cluster recently. Young people partying on a beach.

  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    @torey Wow! I am not sure how I would respond to that question either. I am not sure how what you are there for is in any way pertinent to contact tracing.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,076 admin

    In my province, this only comes into play if you test positive. Our rates are among the lowest in North America.

    When a mall in the closest city started restricting people, they wanted to know what you were going in for, but I think this was to cut down on loitering & limit numbers.

    We have not had to visit a physical bank for quite some time, so don't know what has been put in place here.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 174 ✭✭✭

    My fear with contact tracing is once the pandemic is over will they continue to use that data from our devices or will it be removed? (I am referencing Apples plan to make it part of their IOS.) I don't want to be tracked forever based on who I am around.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 393 ✭✭✭

    @Cornelius you already know the answer to that question. lol Once it is on your phone it is there for life. Probably will be standard issue on all phones from the manufacturer.

    My home and our work computer both run Windows 10. I keep the microphone and camera disabled on both machines. If I have an online meeting I turn them on for the meeting and off once it's over. Just last week, after an update, I noticed there's now this statement "Some desktop apps may still be able to access you microphone (or camera) when setting on this page are off. Find out why" The Find out why is a link to an article that "explains" it.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    @Cornelius It is one of the issues with technology. Its not just contact tracing that is to blame. They (the phone companies) have been able to trace your movements since the first "smart phones" were brought out. They know how much you drive or take transit, when you go into banks, offices or stores, when you are at the track or the bar. If you are hooked up to apps for shopping, they know which stores you have been to and probably how much you spent at each one and on what items. Then this information can be sold to any number of companies that are using data research on personal activities and spending. Something else to consider is that when landlines were the form of communication, a warrant was required to record or listen in to your calls. Cells phones do not come with that guarantee. The phone companies, wifi servers, Siri & Alexis and others can hear and save everything that you are saying.

    Turn your phone off when you aren't using it.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 393 ✭✭✭

    @torey info from our local sheriff. They can ping and trace a phone when it is turned off.

    The robot vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers have to learn (map) the layout of your house and yard to work. I do not have either but have heard that they work through Alexis, Siri and such. That info is uploaded to the cloud and sold. Smart electric meter tattle tell on your habits at home based on electrical usage.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    @dottile46 I had heard that, but wasn't sure. I have one of those wallets that doesn't allow cards to be read through it. I wonder if a case like that might prevent the phone from being "pinged" when it is off? A lead-lined purse?

    Big brother has been watching us for a long time and in ways a lot scarier than George Orwell could have envisioned. I think of that anytime I am in downtown Vancouver. There are big screens up everywhere; some with ads and others with news broadcasts. Makes me think of "1984" every time.

    I don't have either of those types of gadgets, nor the equipment to run them if they require one of those voice assistant type devices. Unfortunately, we do have a smart meter because unless we were willing to go off grid, we had no choice in the matter. Next house will be set up for off grid.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 393 ✭✭✭

    It might block it until 5G.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    I still have an older model flip phone with no wifi. Not sure if that makes a difference on "pinging". But 5G won't make a difference on it.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,076 admin

    @torey That purse could do double duty. You could use it for self defense...if you could even lift it. 🤣

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    🤣🤣 @LaurieLovesLearning The purse (or rather, satchel) that I carry now is heavy enough as it is.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 485 ✭✭✭✭

    In this same train of thought... We recently received a "survey" from an Illinois college that was supposed about the Public Land Policies here in Alaska. The first couple of short sections did have questions related to some of our public land. Then the questions were more into global warming and things like that. After those it switched to more personal attitude type stuff. They gave choices with answers from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The choices had things like....

    Should everyone be treated equal?

    Should people have complete freedom?

    There must be restrictions on some things in life and we just have to accept that.

    The government should be completely in charge of organizational decisions.

    If there were a civil event in your area, you would be willing to participate.

    There was a lot like that. They obviously were only using the public land use as a way to open people up to their real agenda which I see as if we take control and try to force our plan for the country on you what areas are most likely to go along and where will be most likely to stand against it. I would be willing to bet surveys like that went out all over the country under the guise of giving you a chance to help guide what happens to public lands in your area.

    Sure makes you wonder what the future is going to look like.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,076 admin

    I ran across this today through NOVA. Contract tracing is not new, just more widespread right now, and so more people are more aware that it exists. This is leading to worry because now people are aware that it exists. I don't think it in particular is something to be afraid of, and nobody is forcing quarantines like in the days of smallpox as this article is stating.

    For something to truly be effective for conspiracy, it won't be something everyone sees or is even aware of. It is off everyone's radar. It will be super hidden so much so that nobody will be talking about it. There are so many other things that have to be in place as well for one to work. I can post a podcast on that from a cold case detective if anyone is interested...and if I can find it again. This guy has lots of experience with conspiracy theories in his line of work, and I think his points are spot on.

  • GroundedGrounded Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    While we don't really go out much, when we have we had to make a reservation which included putting in credit card information. I imagine they can use that information to track people at restaurants. Bars would probably use cell phone location tracking. I was also under the impression that there are not near enough trackers in the United States. So, some of this is going to be pretty haphazard and not as timely as it would need to be to truly isolate a CoVID outbreak. There are many ways for others to track each and every one of us. Cell phones, credit card usage, toll booths, facial recognition software, computer usage . . .. In this regard, technology is not our friend. There is an argument that it could save lives, bring people to justice, etc., but the problem is that it doesn't always stay on the right side of the spectrum and rights can and are squashed. Collateral damage or further infringement on our civil liberties?

  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting input from a variety of areas!

    I started this because I was contacted and told of "possible" exposure from a person who tested positive. The individual could not (would not) tell me much detail other than the possible day. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depends on perspective) for me it was very easy to figure out exactly who it was. I am a caregiver for two elderly immune compromised people and have pretty much been isolating since this began. The only people in are healthcare (hospice) workers. We are now on quarantine for 14 days (day 8 and no symptoms) and using telehealth. I did not have any other contacts to report that met the criteria. I have kept my contact outside, masked and distanced, groceries and supplies dropped off. Not fun, not easy and I "thought" it was enough. My hope is that their use of mask and sanitizing was/is enough and at the end of the quarantine finds us all healthy, but a little more cautious too.

    I just want to say, I did everything "right" and still the virus can find it's way in past your best defenses. Be safe everyone and try not to get too angry when/if you are contacted. I was and it took a bit to cool down the temper to start thinking rationally and act accordingly.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    I think contact tracing is very necessary for all of us. I think of it as helpful not harmful. i really want to know if I have come in contact with someone who didn't realize they had this disease. There is such a long incubation period that even though we are very careful we can still catch it when we are out and about. This particular pandemic is very troubling with everything that has gone wrong. Many things have been done that are right as well. We just need to stay vigilant.

  • JoetteJoette Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    I often wondered why I’d start receiving unsolicited emails on subject matters my husband and I had an earlier conversation about.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey you can request your electric company to remove the smart meter and put the old ones back on, we did this and so did my daughter. They charged me $75 and there is a small fee every month because someone has to actually come out and physically read our meter. I jumped on it because I have a feeling when people start wising up more and more that it will become a problem for the electric co's and they we try and say they cannot do it. I live in Southern California if that helps!

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    I feel contact tracing is a huge invasion of privacy. And they are already doing it in my state anyway by tracing people's cell phones. There was a news report of how much people were leaving there homes and how far from home they were traveling during lockdown and they compared that to what's happening now that things are starting to open up. The news report even stated the information was obtained from cell phone data. Even before Covid we were being tracked. Before lockdown I helped a friend teach dance lessons on Wednesday nights. I did this for about a year and a half. When I got in my car on Wednesday nights my phone would give me a pop up of how long it would take me to get to dance while I was still in my garage. I never opened any gps app. Many younger folks think this is so helpful a smart phone can automatically do this. Personally, I think it's a huge invasion of privacy. Not that I'm going anywhere I shouldn't but I don't like that it's being tracked.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    @lmrebert Thanks for the info but afraid it won't work in my jurisdiction. Everyone had to change over. Including people who don't have cell service in their communities and likely never will. They still require someone to come and physically read their meter cause it can't send out info without cell service. It was mandated that everyone hooked up to BC Hydro in our province has to have a smart meter.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey ah I'm sorry, that feels pretty unacceptable!

  • Brueck.irisBrueck.iris New ZealandPosts: 120 ✭✭✭

    In some areas the following works: Do NOT argue with the energy supplier. Inform them that your electrician strongly recommends that your house should ONLY get a "LEGACY METER".

    They do argue with you, but not with professionals. And this sentence indicates that your house installation is special and you therefore cannot use a smart meter. Avoids the political discussion which you cannot win.

    Good luck.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin

    Hi @Iris_Brueck Welcome to TGN! Unfortunately there are many different rules and regulations depending on the jurisdiction that you live in. Here, we were not given the option. The electric company will not provide service unless you have a smart meter. "Legacy Meters" are not allowed here but lucky you being able to do that. Spread the word in New Zealand!

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 174 ✭✭✭

    @ torey and @ dottile46 thank you both. I need to get a blocker on my web cam on my computer now. I think we should also write to our congress person to see if we can add the legal protections that were not created as technology began to advance as it should have been.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,076 admin
    edited November 27

    (In response to a deleted comment) I don't really agree that it is unfair. She got tested and by this time, should have known the consequences should she test positive. Personally, if someone had this same thing happen here, I would hope that they would do the same to that person. Actually, I know authorities would here. I don't find that unreasonable.

    Once this woman & family is done their time at home & tests negative, she will be free to go see her mother. No real harm done.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,080 admin
    edited November 27

    I am a big fan of privacy and not allowing governments or other agencies to have access to our personal information or control over our activities.

    However, if someone tests positive for COVID-19 they need to self quarantine for 14 days or for 10 days following their last symptoms. That means no gong outside of your house unless you live in a rural area or have a very large back yard. Pretty simple. Its only 14 days out of your life and you can easily find things to do to fill the time.

    If you have tested positive, why would you want to expose other people, especially your mother? However, I do know of some people who are content to spread their "dis-ease", without consideration for any others.

    In this case, anyone who has come in contact with this woman (referring to a deleted comment) must isolate for 14 days as well. The more people you have been in contact with, the more people that have to be quarantined. So she is just compounding things for everyone. Sounds a bit like this individual has similar behavioural issues as Typhoid Mary.

    People here in BC are being followed up with to make sure they are quarantining properly when they have tested positive or if they are repatriating home after being in other countries. Visitors who have illegally crossed the border are being fined ($1000s) and escorted back to the border.

  • Nancy A.MaurelliNancy A.Maurelli Posts: 43 ✭✭✭

    What a RICH and complex topic this is! From COVID contact tracing to electric "smart" meters and cell phone tracking to whether it is acceptable to put a person in "house arrest" for a positive COVID test!

    The billion dollar questions (really, I mean how much do manufacturers and distributors stand to earn in distributing vaccinations) seems to me to be: WHY do some folks get very sick when exposed to this virus while others are completely asymptomatic? HOW can I be in the later category?

    Everyone is responsible for their own health and well-being. There are many interesting correlations that we already are aware of: EXAMPLE: vitamin D level relates to severity of COVID symptoms, and the use of certain medications can possibly increase difficulty with this virus. Exposure to environmental pollutants is another significant factor. COVID 19 might be seen as a big wake-up call for each person to examine their own behaviors and how those contribute not only to personal health, but also environmental health.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @Nancy A.Maurelli Agreed! The Va$$ine (hidden for algorithms) issue is a contentious one and I mean no disrespect and the following is my opinion based on my experience as a mother, grandmother, and nurse and is not intended to offend or judge and I will just state the facts. As far as how much drug manufacturers stand to make, that would be 50 billion a year as it stands now. If it is mandated for the entire world, well, an insurmountable amount of money. Years ago, due to the drug co's having so many law suits for death and damage caused by their products, were given legal immunity for this product, and the government reclassified them to "biologicals" instead of medication/drugs, therefore they do not have to go through double blind placebo testing, which is the "gold standard" for all medications. They then created the VAERS (va$$ine adverse event reporting system) and 0.75 of every shot (and that is multiplied for trivalent/quadrivalent etc.) goes into this fund to pay those injured or killed by them. There is zero liability to doctors, nurses, drug companies or the government and we pay for the injuries/deaths from that fund. In VAERS court was supposed to be a swift and friendly system that by they "one in a million" chance you were damaged, that you can get compensated for your injury, but the goal of that court is to litigate you until death. Upon researching multiple sources including the actual package insert and watching the effects of these products on our population, the standing financial stats are about 500 billion dollars made annually for diabetic, ADHD, seizure, eczema, asthma, gastrointestinal medications etc. of which all are on the package inserts as side effects. Whether they caused those or not every time is unknown and irrelevant, but they stand to profit from the side effects with more drugs. This is a huge money maker with zero liability and definitely there is no incentive to spend money on safety. There is no other product in the country like this and especially one that is mandated for education and employment.

    An interesting stat came out during this shutdown. Infant mortality (<1 year) rates dropped 30% in April and March. Most common causes of death in infants is 1) Abnormalities 2) SIDS and the last 2 are percentages so low they almost cannot be counted which are 3) Accidents 4) Murder. So my daughter is a peds nurse and the first thing she said was "well at least babies will be saved because they won't be getting all the injections". We joked, but actually, she was correct. Abnormalities would not decline due to a virus or shutdown and possibly accidents would, accept that the percentage was so low its not a factor. With what we know about abuse and such going up during this time, you csn probably rule that out and it is also too low to count. This leaves SIDS, which is listed as a side effect on the package insert. I will be waiting for the final data on this as we will probably again see a sharp increase as they go back to their clinics for their "well baby checks", sigh.

    Vitamin D is definitely beneficial as well as vitamin C, and zinc. Fresh air, and love and joy are good medicine too! We've been manipulated in modern medicine to think that we have "bad luck or bad genes" which is untrue, we have a lot more control over our health than the powers that be would like us to think. I cannot remember the last time I heard "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Our oncologists tell our patients, "eat whatever you want, it doesn't matter", while they're handing out candy to patients during chemo treatments. Sugar feeds cancer cells. Its all very hard to watch and I am not allow to speak anything against the narrative. It breaks my heart daily. When I can, I offer people hope and encouragement.

    We have a saying in our family, "If just one", meaning if just one baby is saved then people thinking were dumb, crazy, or whatever they want to think, it will still be worth it. My step son just found out about the Zantac discoveries and he's so frustrated that he told me "I'm just going to plant a medicinal garden!!!!" I felt so happy!!! He has stomach issues and I told him to do peppermint tea (heat issue) and his issue resolved. He was so impressed because his meds never worked that fast or well and now hes found out they're causing cancer.

    I hope through all this that instead of blaming "co-morbidities" in the sense that they feel hopeless or helpless that it will motivate people to care better for themselves and I'm also hoping that families got to know each other better and love one another better.

    Health, happiness and love to all!!

  • soeasytocraftsoeasytocraft Alberta, CanadaPosts: 125 ✭✭✭

    @Joette I believe there is definitely an invasion of privacy. One day I asked a friend what restaurant they were going to. When I got into my car to drive my phone told me how far away this particular restaurant was.

    I do not eat at restaurants due to health issues and have never searched for any either. It made feel rather sick to the stomach!

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