One of the things that I don’t think we are doing a good job of here in Canada is promoting our COVID Alert app. Most of the people I talk to don’t seem to have it installed on their phones. And most of the people I talk to seem to be nervous about sharing personal information with it, including their location. (That’s not actually how the app works.)
The thing with exposure alert apps is that they’re only really useful if most people are using them. And they’re only really useful if people who test positive for the virus enter the code that they are given into the app. So it relies on us trusting that other people will do the right thing. I get that. But those same shortcomings apply when we just ask someone if they’ve been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
I could be wrong, but my view on this is pretty simple.
If everyone who had COVID-19 got immediately sick and showed highly discernible symptoms, then this virus would likely be a lot easier to control. Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that some people get really sick and some people don’t get sick at all. But these latter people can still unknowingly spread it around — perhaps to other people who might get really sick.
Given this variability, it’s critical for us to know who has been potentially exposed and who has not been exposed. Otherwise, we’re running around mostly blind. From what I can tell, exposure alert apps are one of the best ways for us to track transmission. But, of course, it only works if you’ve got the app. For those of you who don’t already have it, you can download it for both iOS and Android by going here.
P.S. I’m writing this post because it came up with my barber today while I was getting a haircut. He wasn’t all that aware of the app, but he ultimately concluded that we have a problem of education and that he was going to download it. Maybe some of you will do the same after reading this.