Contact Tracing Argument

Today we are fighting a virus that has taken our jobs, freedom, education, and loved ones. Our nation’s first responders and health care workers have put their safety on the line to protect every citizen. When a citizen is diagnosed with the virus, the health department will contact anyone the victim has been in contact with for longer than fifteen minutes while standing less than six feet away. This is called contact tracing, which has been put into play to help slow down the spread of the virus. When it comes to contact tracing, it is crucial to review citizens’ health and their safety. While there are many facts behind contact tracing, it is also a very opinionated topic. It is important to respect everyone’s opinion and do your research. Following someone else’s opinion without first doing research may put your health and privacy at risk. Articles written, are to shine a light on contact tracing and why this form of slowing COVID-19 has been put into play.

As the virus continues to grow I think it is important to be educated on what method is being used to help slow down the spread of the virus. I find it is important to not only educate myself but also others, as we are all being affected by COVID-19. My audience is aimed towards teens and adults. My reasoning behind making this age group my audience is, as a kid you look up to adults, for example, your parents. You rely on your parents to make decisions for you when you are at such a young age. Starting in your teen years, you start to form your own opinions, especially on such harsh topics. As an adult you get to decide whether you think contact tracing is an invasion of privacy. Although your child may not know anything about contact tracing you can still shield them from what you think is attacking their privacy. As a teenager you may form an opinion different than your parents are the adults you are always around. It is then your choice to decide whether or not you support contact tracing.

To reach my targeted audience it is important to talk about the social media outlook on contact tracing. Social media has grown to be a huge part of our everyday lives. Nowadays we are not only using social media in our personal lives but also in schools and places of work. Social media has drawn many people to their cell phones and you will not see anyone leaving home without it. So, if everyone takes their phones with them everywhere they go why not use apps to help the contact tracing process. Apps are even being created for colleges and places of work. To enter your workplace or a class at your university, you must first fill out a survey like a form. The survey will ask you questions about your health. Although you may feel the same as you did yesterday, you still have to fill it out each day. Filling out this survey is designed to not only keep you safe and healthy but also your coworkers. When filling out the form, if someone says they have had symptoms, this could prevent you and other workers from having symptoms. This may be helping the slow down of the virus but, employees and students are not given the choice to participate. The apps do not only have you fill out a survey but they also can track you. Universities are using these apps to track students. This tells the university staff where each student has been and for how long. When a student is using the app they are able to see where COVID-19 is affecting more people. To enter university building students are not given the choice to fill these surveys out or have these tracking apps. Many students may feel more comfortable when using the apps if they were given more information and the choice to use them or not.

People are more willing to participate in systems like contact tracing when they are given the correct information. The problem with contact tracing is that little to no information is being given to citizens. Many people do not even know that contact tracing is being used. To solve this problem a consent form should be created. Contact tracing should not take place until a citizen has signed and turned in the consent form. Going back to my audience, anyone that is affected by contact tracing should be given a consent form. This will give parents the right to sign for their kids. The age group for this consent form should be eighteen years and older. This is because at age eighteen you are considered an adult even though you still may be in high school. Just because the consent form is not given to citizens until they are eighteen does not mean it is any less important to educate other teenagers on what exactly contact tracing. This will give them the knowledge to make their choices as an adult. Another option to give citizens is a waiver. This waiver can be a substitute for the consent form. Places of work and universities would provide waivers for the employees and students who would like to take their health into their own hands and not participate in contact tracing. These waivers should also be easy to access, meaning they should be easy to find whether in person or online. It is possible that a student may want to participate in filling out a survey but is not comfortable with using an app that tracks their every move. The waiver should give the student the option to participate in both the tracking and survey or the option for just one. Although a consent form would give citizens the right to choose whether they participate in contact tracing or not, how do they know which to choose? This is where giving citizens the right information comes in. People want to make the best decisions based on their privacy and health. To do so here is a list of information that should be provided to each person: where is their information going, for how long will their information be used, how long will their location be needed, is their information secured to where no one else can see it, who sees their answers after using a survey, who is watching their location. This list of questions may seem very scary to someone who knows nothing about contact tracing and why health departments are using it. We can get this information to people by talking about it on the news, public announcements, university websites, newspapers and making it mandatory that places of work that require survey apps to inform each employee on what contact tracing is. It is possible for contact tracing to work without using these apps that are invading citizens’ privacy. When a person tests positive for the virus they are still able to inform the health department about who they have been in contact with for longer than fifteen minutes and closer than six feet apart. This will still help slow down the virus and keep your family and close friends from getting sick. Other methods of slowing down the virus have also been put into place. This includes: a curfew for all citizens, businesses being shut down, working from home, virtual classes, and wearing a mask. With the help of a consent for contact tracing can still help slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracing has become an important topic in today’s society and is not something that may be taken lightly. When it comes to COVID-19, citizens’ health and privacy has been put on the line. To ensure the safety of every citizen, health departments must be giving out the right information. A consent form should be created, and each person should be given the option to participate in contact tracing. The more information and reassurance given to the citizens, the more they are going to want to participate. Since contact tracing is a very opinionated topic, it is essential to respect each individual’s opinion. With many social media platforms, it is easy to be influenced by other views. This is why it is also critical to do your research. By doing your research, you also have a better chance of protecting your health, family member’s health, and your privacy. The health of our nation is our responsibility!