by Isabel Pascual
I had the (bad) experience of flying across Europe - for personal unavoidable reasons- during May 2020. Not at the peak, but still on a 'hot' CoVid19 situation. If someone has not seen the movie "Annon", or, on its defect, "Gattaca", I would strongly recommend you to do so. What until last year was referred as dystopic, is almost a reality today in Europe... is it for good, or for bad?
The current CoVid19 has placed personal and professional hurdles to everybody's daily activities. From a personal perspective, most of the relations and activities that we undertake daily are surrounded by people who know us, our whereabouts, and our standard practices.
When we move to the professional sphere, things get a little bit more complicated -- we, and the others, might not feel comfortable with each other's presence - despite our (presumption) of clean health record from both sides. Fear overruns trust, crumbling the principle that is applied on normal circumstances, and that lawyer recognize as an old latin saying: 'In dubio, pro reo".
Business, Meetings and otherwise normal operational activities slow down, become more impersonal, or simply, are postponed due to the complexities and safety measurements that need to be taken. Is this sustainable? Another retrovirus, also with high mortality rates moved up the animal chain to infect humans in the 80's, HIV, changing, forever, basic habits in the whole population - not just those on 'high-risk' groups.
There is no doubt that the human race has faced other RNA- (& DNA) viruses along the 200,000 years of our existence -and longer, when we were not considered yet 'humans'- think, for example, smallpox, that decimated on waves populations, or the black plague... the evidence of adaptation and survival is found today on our own genome. Is this CoVid - or SARS, or HPV, particularly aggressive or deadly? Not, if compared with others, like Hepatitis, HIV, or non-viral conditions, like Malaria or fox tapeworm to mention a few.
Within months, Science has been able to find the entry point of CoVid19 into the human body, its MoA, and, based on that knowledge, different initiatives to create a defense - in the form of a vaccine, or a treatment- are being quickly advanced upon.
If we can use Science and medicine to solve the problem in record timings, why shouldn't we use Technology? Current ubiquity of handheld devices, and full disclosure of the CoVid status of an individual (IgM positive or negative) to the people around you would help both sides - as much those who have passed the disease, as those who are still at risk - to, with full knowledge at hand, take the needed measures, and facilitate the live and events of everybody.
Of course, the question of 'freedom of choice' for the disclosure of the infection status, and the 'privacy' and 'ownership' of that information, are questions that remain outstanding - we cannot apply Roman or medieval law to XXI century problems....