Utah’s Border Entry Requirement

The State of Utah now has a requirement that all adults entering into the state must certify they do not have Covid-19 symptoms and as well as asking whether anyone in the vehicle has been tested for Covid-19.

This is almost certainly illegal because it violates HIPAA rules for electronic collection of health information. But what the heck. The form is only available on line which is discriminatory and racist (it’s not but it’s fun to use the Left’s words against them).

People are all worried about a national Covid-19 card but I don’t think there’s much chance of that simply because there’s no way to collect the data. On the other hand, I think you’ll see similar requirements from all the states in short order. All cars will be asked to stop at each Port of Entry and hand in a form. I also suspect you’ll see “random” contactless temperature checks as well.

My personal view is that this is no more intrusive than other border checks for states that do produce inspections or boat inspections. It’s annoying that everyone will have to do it but it doesn’t feel like we’ve lost any personal liberties in the process. If this follows the usual process, each state will also offer decals to people in the state that certify you won’t enter if you’re sick or if you do, you’ll immediately see a doctor. This will speed up the getting into your home state and avoiding the inevitably long, lines. I just hope we don’t have to get out of our cars and take off our shoes!

By the way, the state will charge you for the decal!

The other good thing is that, at least for Covid-19, this has a shelf life. Eventually, the virus will peter out just like like the Spanish Flu and every other virus and we’ll stop these border health checks — I hope — I think. In one way it would be good to continue them since these kinds of checks would also slow the spread of seasonal flu and other diseases. On the other hand, you have to do something with the data to make it work and it’s more likely that someone who’s sick will simply lie on the form.

My guess is that you’ll wind up with a gigantic database of dubious information that won’t prove helpful because no one will be looking at it. On the other hand, if another pandemic breaks out, the data won’t really help determine where possibly infected people might be simply because the data will be too old.

The other obvious thing that will happen is a call for automatic equipment to scan occupants in vehicles for sickness. Billions of dollars will be spent in this pursuit which will not work. For an explanation, see virtually any piece of bomb detecting equipment produced after 9-11.

We’ll see how much of “we make have to make sure this never happens again!” mentality causes us to institutionalize a national system of testing, contact tracing, and quarantining. This could easily get out of hand and we wind up with the equivalent of 1950’s Civil Defense that quickly became obsolete.

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

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