In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11/2001, the government created the TSA, an agency under the control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to assure the security of the traveling public, primarily at airports.

Many travelers believe a TSA intrusive search, by active or passive means, is little more than political Kabuki Theater because there are no recorded instances of the TSA having ever detected nor stopped a terrorist attack. And, other than finding ordinary contraband such as guns and sharp objects, it misses a fair percentage of ordinary, but dangerous items. There is no doubt that the TSA has become a large, cumbersome, self-perpetuating organization and a law unto itself -- creating a cadre of petty tyrants who delight in harassing those who do not immediately comply with their demands or even ask questions.

Now we appear to be faced with a similar situation to prevent the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus and the use of “monitors” who are using various technologies to screen an individual’s temperature from a distance of inches to several feet. Turning away and denying entry to those who test above 100.4, which is commonly accepted as an indication of a fever. And the TSA will likely self-task to be the lead temperature takers at airports.

Is this more political Kabuki Theater?

1.   Many of the cheaper, mass-produced instruments (mostly from China) that remotely measure temperature may be inaccurate, totally ineffective, and lack adequate calibration.

2.   There is a distinct difference between a rise in temperature caused by COVID-19 and those attributable to other medical and emotional conditions including exercise, an excited, emotional state, and other commonly encountered illnesses such as the seasonal flu or common cold. Both are identical symptoms with very different causes.

3.   An individual can be asymptomatic (without symptoms) and infectious before exhibiting a fever. Since so much remains unknown about the virus and its transmissibility, there is no scientific proof that temperature screening is effective in slowing the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus.

4.   At present, employees may simply pass a recalcitrant or abusive individual rather than deal with the hassle that may ensue. Especially if the line is long and the wait becomes lengthy. Imagine a cranky individual who waits for an hour and then is denied admittance and told to leave the area? Or an individual who is singled out in a crowd at a major event?

5.   While privacy at present is a minor concern when the screening is done in a public venue, and the individual has no expectation of privacy – similar to being photographed on the street – imagine the concern if an individual is identified and the information entered into a database?

6.   Emergency procedures that are implemented during a crisis are likely to be “normalized” and remain in use long after the crisis passes.

Bottom line…

Does it work? Many public health officials, including physicians, epidemiologists, and virologists, are openly questioning the effectiveness of temperature screening and whether this intervention produces the expected result of slowing the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus.

Of great concern is whether the government will use this Chinese Coronavirus crisis to normalize the collection, storage, analysis, and use of biometric health information without an individual’s consent because they happen to be in a public venue?

And, of even greater concern, will the government allow the major technology companies to capture biometric information on voluntarily-purchased devices and then make the data available to the government or sell the information to others to monetize the data stream?

Few in the government, including politicians and their fashionable scientists, actually know what they are doing and the outcome of their so-called interventions.

Do not be so quick to give up your privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment…

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

… for once individual freedom is compromised or lost, no matter what the circumstances, it is not likely to be regained without a fight.

Perhaps we should heed the wise counsel of Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS