Letter to the Editor
Everything that we touched was to be considered contaminated and it needed to be sanitized before we or others could safely use it. It was as though we had the Coronavirus and needed to be quarantined. What permanent social and political changes will remain when this is over, is uncertain, but there will be political, public, and private changes to social gatherings. Changes will be put in place that will influence generations to follow. Just as all the major events in our nation’s history have done. Events such as the Civil War, 911, the economic depression of 1929-1939, the Atomic Bomb, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, etc. have changed and modified our way of life. Some of the changes only lasted for short periods like rationing; whereas, others have remained and altered our nation ever since. Some have led to beneficial legislation such as the creation of Social Security, a volunteer army and improvements in civil rights; whereas, others are just an inconvenience like airport security. But the impact of Coronavirus is of a different magnitude. The only way to stop the spread of an infectious disease quickly is social tracking so that all those that an infected person may have infected can be identified, rounded up, and quarantined.
The problem with tracking our every move is that it puts crosshairs focused on every one of us in the hands of the government. The power to know where everyone is all the time; to know who we contact and how long we are with them. This power would end privacy and the anonymity of one’s personal life. Some people say “What do you have to be afraid of if you have not done anything wrong?” For good reason, our system of the government was built on a distrust of those in authority and that limiting and dividing that authority was necessary for the people under that government to remain free. That principle of limiting and dividing authority over us still applies to government and it should also apply to businesses. The only difference between trust and entrapment is what is at the other end of one’s trust.
Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva resident, and former alderperson