A usurpation of civil liberties doesn’t have to be the answer to the Covid19 pandemic. It is up to us as American citizens to bring our communities together and keep them safe. Syndesy is an app that can do just that. By using Syndesy’s check-ins feature, you can voluntarily inform community members of your past movements in the unfortunate instance that you become sick with Covid19.
Civil Liberties in the Time of Coronavirus
In his essay, “The Coronation,” Charles Eisenstein states, “A frightened public accepts abridgments of civil liberties that are otherwise hard to justify, such as the tracking of everyone’s movements at all times…” This is a terrifying era when all peoples of the world find themselves, their loved ones, and communities threatened by the scourge of Covid19. Yet succumbing to government-mandated and compulsory contact tracing is the kind of involuntary, undemocratic policy is the first slide down the slippery slope to the kind of authoritarianism that is anathema to the foundational doctrines of the United States of America. Eisenstein’s piece is a brilliant and ultimately optimistic assessment of the curious state we all find ourselves in.
Eisenstein references Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, in suggesting that “disaster often liberates solidarity.” Think about it as you look for silver linings in the current state of affairs. To survive and to attempt to thrive in our current state of limitations, it is critical to look for the positives. And what we are seeing both on front lines of the war against the coronavirus as well as in the vast majority of the cooperating and compassionate public, is the choice to be proactively responsible and compassionate. The virus has forced us to slow down and to think more as a member of a whole wide world and less as an individual on a singular path.
Syndesy & Solidarity
To that end, communities need to come together and use Syndesy. Before we give ourselves over to some governmentally-mandated, monopolistically-administered, involuntary and undemocratic form of contact tracing that will be hard to retract in a virus-free future, Syndesy provides a way to take this battle into our own hands. The app lets users do their own contact tracing, voluntarily and freely. With the simple and instant press of the Check-Ins button right there on the home screen of the app, you can log in every place you go if and when you have to go anywhere. The app will make a note of that information with a time-, date- and geo-stamp, and it will stay there in your private cache until such time, if it ever comes, that you yourself are exposed to the disease or actually infected.
At that point you can share your own cache of information on where you have been and when you were there so that others can cross-reference with their own movements. Of course the hope is that you will never be exposed to this virus or any other and that you will thus never have to use that information. But this is the real world, and in it, people are getting sick all around us. If we find that we are one of the exposed or the sick, we can help others. If we use Syndesy, we will have that power. If we use this app, we will have the means and the tools to help our friends, our families and our communities– willingly, generously, symbiotically, and freely. Not only will we be giving ourselves the agency to be part of the solution, but in using an app on our phones, we will be forestalling the push to curtail our civil liberties. And moreover, we will be doing that by exercising our fundamentally American freedoms in the service of a blossoming form of compassionate and quintessentially human solidarity.
According to Jody Savin, co-founder of Syndesy, “We all have a fundamental right to privacy even if we are working together to protect our community.” Indeed, as much as these are terrifying times that call for us to engage in tracing our contacts, this can be done without violating our privacy or abridging our civil liberties.