Those who live their lives on the registry knew it would happen, it was only a matter of time.
The pandemic strikes, those in society that are used to everyday freedoms, suddenly forced to quarantine, out of work, told they may be under restrictions for a month, maybe two, at the most three before life returns to normal.
Everyone jumps on board, eager to do their part to contain “the danger” looming outside their door.
A few short weeks later we’re advised that this all may take longer, much longer than we thought. We may never get back to “normal”. It may be a year and a half until we have a vaccine and we may be wearing personal protective equipment until 2022! Who knows when schools will restart or when states will open their borders? Shopping, bars, gyms, churches, all closed. Life as everyone knows it, has changed.
And now the government announces there will be a new phase of virus control called “contact tracing”. It will track those with the virus and everyone they’ve had contact with. Governmental health workers may be calling our homes, asking us questions about our personal health and the names and phone numbers of those we’ve had contact with. Some of us will receive a sentence of isolation, for others, the lesser sentence to self- monitor. It all depends on your risk factor. (Oddly enough risk factors aren’t taken into consideration on the sex offender registry, same registry for everyone, high or low risk.)
In a strange twist of karma, whether they realize it or not, the rest of the world is getting a sense of “life on the registry”. It’s a life where rules change constantly, there is seemingly no end to social distancing, nothing is ever certain, information is always vague and governmental workers want to know your business. Everyone is now on a roller-coaster very much like what registrants are on, with twists and turns you have no control of, no end in sight and if there was an end in sight, the rules can always change so there isn’t.
The registry was designed to “track” registrants, letting the government know where they lived and worked, how close they could get to schools, parks, athletic fields, greenways, etc. It limits registrant’s freedoms on a daily basis. “It’s needed” society was told, “it will keep everyone safe”. And society thought it was a great idea.
Little by little the pandemic has taken away the daily freedom’s that society is used to. It’s taken away their freedom to work, to socialize, to have human contact with family and friends. For some, it’s taken the very food off their tables and for many, in the near future if things don’t improve, probably the roofs over their heads. And now, “contact tracing” will take away their privacy.
One can’t help but wonder how long before the country rises up and screams that they want their freedoms back.
Everyone’s been isolating for weeks. Patience is wearing thin. They’re tired of the corona virus pandemic and the rules and restrictions that come with it. They don’t want government workers contacting them, asking personal information. We are a society that values its privacy, we don’t want to be tracked. The idea that our personal information, our corona virus status, might end up on a registry available to the public, our friends, neighbors, potential employers, is abhorrent. There’s a limit on how much privacy society will give up for safety’s sake, the amount of caution they’re willing to take to protect others.
Many are reaching their limit; the pot is beginning to boil.
Yes, we saw it coming.
What better time than now to enlighten society. This is what life on the sex offender registry is like, day to day uncertainty, vagueness, rules, regulations, restrictions, privacy issues, loss of family, friends, jobs and housing. This is what society’s laws have done to registrants.
For registrants, having to live like this has been the norm, the normal that society said they deserved, the normal they allowed the government to enforce, the normal they didn’t want to have to see, hear or think about. Registrants were the “danger” looming outside the door, the “danger” that needed to be contained. If tracking us on a sex offender registry was the answer, if it was going to keep society “safer”, so be it.
Well, now this is everyone’s normal, too.