In his New York Times article, “The Virus Can Be Stopped,” Donald G. McNeil Jr. writes, “There is a chance to stop the coronavirus. This contagion has a weakness.” That weakness involves a world populace willing to cooperate and to work together to stay apart. This kind of global team work is something that might have been hard to imagine mere months ago, but the world has changed. We are under siege by a fast spreading virus and in order to contain it, everyone across the planet has to take responsibility for their movements. For most of us that means staying home, staying isolated from others and practicing rigorous hand washing among other forms of active cleanliness. But even the most diligent practitioners of social distancing must venture out into the world for food or medicine. The doctors and essential workers of the world bravely carry on, trying to save the world from this illness and avoid becoming ill themselves.
Will Americans Cooperate to Fight Coronavirus?
To stop this virus will require “near-total cooperation from the populace,” says McNeil. “Containment becomes realistic only when Americans realize that working together is the only way to protect themselves and their loved ones.” Not just Americans, but everyone everywhere. Iron-fisted, authoritarian governments can impose (indeed, have imposed) national mandates for personal or familial sequestration, curfews, and even militaristically enforced lockdowns. McNeil calls this “state compulsion.” But the United States is still a democracy. And in our American democracy, even a strict governmental order requires the populace to voluntarily comply with the “ordered” recommendations to stay separated from other people, close non-essential businesses, and be part of the solution. McNeil actually wonders if Americans who are “so fundamentally committed to individual liberty and distrustful of government could learn to adapt to many of these measures, especially those that smack of state compulsion.”
Interestingly, we are seeing massive voluntary compliance. Perhaps people are complying out of fear, but that cannot be the only reason. People are also complying out of a sense of responsibility to their community. This is to be applauded. Yes, we have a crisis and the majority of our citizens are doing the right thing. The perennially clogged roads of Los Angeles are empty. Pollution has dissipated in the skies above. Neighborhoods are collaborating by email to pool grocery runs and share supplies. Neighbors are communicating by phone and email to help care for the elderly and most susceptible among them. People are being responsible. Everyone wants to see this pandemic harnessed, controlled, and one day perhaps eradicated. We are all in this together, all of us, everywhere, all over the world. And the individual choices we make in an unprecedented time like this really matter.
Using Syndesy to Aid in Voluntary Compliance
That’s where the Syndesy app comes in. Syndesy provides a critical “Check-Ins” feature that lets users check in with an automatic date-, time-, and geo-location stamp. This tool helps individuals help themselves and each other in these challenging times. The developers of the app have chosen to release it for free to encourage adoption because the more people that use Syndesy, the more check-in information society will have to trace potential paths of infections. If you have to venture into public for food, medicine, or other essential provisions, you can record your comings and goings with a simple press of the Check-Ins button. Just a click of the Syndesy Check-Ins Button, which is easily accessible on the home screen, will record the time, date and geo-location of your Check-In. If, for example, you had to go to the bank, the pharmacy and the grocery store, and if you use your Syndesy Check-In button at all three locations, you can return home with the knowledge that:
- If you come down with the virus, you can alert your friends, family, and the public to the exact locations and times they might have been exposed.
- If those who think they might have been exposed also use Syndesy, they can check their record of their own Check-Ins and compare it to yours to know if they are at risk.
- If a Syndesy Check-Ins user who lives in your community knows they were at the local grocery store on a certain date and time, you can check your own Check-Ins to see if you might be at risk.
The more information we share, the safer we all are. The more responsibly we track our movements, the more information we can share if our own health becomes compromised. And the more we know about our potential exposure to infected others, the more opportunity we have to protect our loved ones from also getting exposed.
Syndesy an App for our Time
McNeil suggests that Americans use their social networks to “do their own contact tracing.” To that point, we suggest you use Syndesy and that you invite everyone you know to use it too. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by massive adoption of this app. Not only can we precisely and easily track where we have been and when, but all that information can instantly be processed into an easy-to-share report. While Syndesy users would, of course, not be required to share their Check-Ins report, users can voluntarily and freely, at their own election, share this information and help their community.
Staring at what he realized was a mounting pandemic, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), said, “Let’s all look out for each other.” Syndesy can help us all do just that.