In Part 1, I posited that there’s no reason someone who was sick or tested positive couldn’t “self contact trace” by simply picking up up phone and calling ten people they think they might have been in contact with. This costs no one any money, can be implemented instantaneously, and is the morally correct thing to do regardless of what the government mandates.
Why then are we waiting for an “army” of tracers to appear before doing what we all know we should be doing ourselves? Control, of course.
I’m a pretty high control personality so I don’t rebel at the word control since this is a good thing, for the most part, in my world. The fact that left brained researchers want to control things themselves isn’t bad unto itself. It gets bad when politicians attempt to control the behavior of the population based on data they don’t understand or choose to bend to their own political desires.
Why do Covid-19 “experts” all tell us that government needs to handle tracing? Because they want data and then secondarily, they want to inform people they might have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or is sick. Informing people is not the primary reason for government lead contact tracing — it’s data!
The experts need data to make decisions. The problem here is that the data has little information which I’m sure the governors and the president are finding out. What is happening is a cry for more information — through more testing data — which won’t give us much more information than we already have.
The best we have are guesses that really aren’t based on data at all. For instance, the president has proposed a phased opening based on the decline of new cases over two week periods. Is this based on any data? Nope. If we testing more people, would this give us any more information? Not really.
What data will the government get by doing the tracing themselves over having people self trace? Well, they will have numbers to indicate how many people were called and how many they were able to reach. Is this useful? Well, maybe if they then called back over a period of time and could see whether anyone got sick or tested positive. I’m not sure, as I’ve said, how this changes any behaviors.
Which leads us to compliance. The real purpose of contact tracing by government is compliance which is where it falls apart in the United States. In South Korea, the government forces you to comply with quarantine. If you’re not going to use contact tracing data to enforce quarantine, then there’s really no reason to contact trace at this point.
There is a reason to remind people that if someone you know is sick or has tested positive, you should use all the mandatory and recommended precautions and limit contact with people to a minimum. I think by now we all know that but the simple step of asking people who have tested positive to call ten people they might have been in contact with is free.