Warning: A Contract Tracer Wants You!

 

My husband received an email from Medicare today, warning, uh, alerting him to the fact that he might be contacted by a Contact Tracer. Seriously? I wrote a post at the end of May about my objections to contract tracing, and at this stage of the virus’s run, I am even more against it.

I suspect this is a political decision because money has been spent and will continue to be spent to make us feel as if this kind of program is/will be worthwhile: lives will be saved! People will be better protected! It’s your patriotic duty to comply!

Poppycock.

If we are contacted to meet with a Contact Tracer, we will both tell him or her to pound sand. (I just love this new phrase I’ve discovered.)

I have sacrificed so much time following guidelines that I believe are mostly worthless that this one is one too many. The virus is going to run its course, whether we like it or not.

The buck stops here.

Published in Healthcare
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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The census faker was here this morning. He was looking for Apartment 1B. There is no Apartment 1B. So he took down my information, probably for Apartment 1B.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    The census faker was here this morning. He was looking for Apartment 1B. There is no Apartment 1B. So he took down my information, probably for Apartment 1B.

    Do you ever get the feeling that everyone is watching you?? Or am I just being paranoid. Wait–what was that noise . . .

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . . 

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . .

    Who wants to bet that someone with Covid recently worked out at the same gym?

    I’d want to know if the contact tracer is allowed to tell you why you’re being contacted before turning them down outright.  If they’re allowed to tell you which plague-ridden miscreants you’ve recently been in contact with then I might be amenable to chatting with them.  However, if all they can do is collect information then I’d be less inclined to cooperate.

    Actually, I’d probably agree to chat with them either way, just out of curiosity.  I’d like to know what kind of questions these contact tracers ask.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I’d answer the questions.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . .

    Who wants to bet that someone with Covid recently worked out at the same gym?

    I’ll take that bet. And it doesn’t matter to us. For all we know, my husband would test positive and is asymptomatic, and could have caught something from a gym rat. And how would we know when he got it? It’s just too ridiculous for me.

    • #6
  7. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . .

    Susan,

    Perhaps they are going to contact him in the hopes of getting him to turn state’s evidence on you?  You do seem to be a suspicious sort who bears watching. 

    Sincerely,

    Tim

     

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Some Call Me …Tim (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . .

    Susan,

    Perhaps they are going to contact him in the hopes of getting him to turn state’s evidence on you? You do seem to be a suspicious sort who bears watching.

    Sincerely,

    Tim

     

    Yeah I thought of that, too. But I have stories on him, too. It’d be too risky.

    BTW, there are usually a half dozen people, if that, on the three days we go to the gym for an hour. And we wear masks to calm the worry warts. Still there’s that one woman with dyed black hair who doesn’t wear a mask and uses the same machines I use…

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: I suspect this is a political decision

    I suspect this is a scam . . .

    However, I would hand out no information even if they were legit.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: I suspect this is a political decision

    I suspect this is a scam . . .

    However, I would hand out no information even if they were legit.

    I suspected that, too. As you suggest,  @stad, it doesn’t matter. 

    • #10
  11. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    No requests for contact tracing yet, but since getting old enough for MediCare and Humana, we have gotten periodic calls about a free ‘service’ to come out and inspect our house to let us know what ‘unsafe’ areas we have.

    Now, our house is old (1803), small (probably 2,000 sq ft or less) and what would probably be called ‘quirky”.  At various times we have had up to 3 Deerhounds at 100 lbs plus.  Suffice it to say that we would drive some sort of inspector absolute crazy.

    So far, we have been able to prevent the ‘free service’ without any penalty.  I think I would have the same attitude toward contact tracing.  I am even more negative towards Apps for your phone that assist in this tracing.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    No requests for contact tracing yet, but since getting old enough for MediCare and Humana, we have gotten periodic calls about a free ‘service’ to come out and inspect our house to let us know what ‘unsafe’ areas we have.

    Now, our house is old (1803), small (probably 2,000 sq ft or less) and what would probably be called ‘quirky”. At various times we have had up to 3 Deerhounds at 100 lbs plus. Suffice it to say that we would drive some sort of inspector absolute crazy.

    So far, we have been able to prevent the ‘free service’ without any penalty. I think I would have the same attitude toward contact tracing. I am even more negative towards Apps for your phone that assist in this tracing.

    That “free service” sounds suspicious to me @willowspring. You know the saying –if it sounds too good to be true.  . . 

    • #12
  13. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: I suspect this is a political decision

    I suspect this is a scam . . .

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regularly sends informational emails to all Medicare recipients for whom they have email addresses. I suspect this is just the Email of the Month.

    • #13
  14. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    Susan, contact tracing is very effective for STDs. Not much else.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: I suspect this is a political decision

    I suspect this is a scam . . .

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regularly sends informational emails to all Medicare recipients for whom they have email addresses. I suspect this is just the Email of the Month.

    We only get them rarely (and have been signed up for several years), and often my husband is the one who gets them. I believe they have both of our email addresses.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    Susan, contact tracing is very effective for STDs. Not much else.

    Agreed!

    • #16
  17. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    My husband got a test last week (he tested negative) and today he got a call from our county health dept. He wasn’t home but the lady said she just wanted to ask him a few questions. I’m suspecting it was a call about contact tracing. We’ve agreed that if she calls back the answer to all questions will be “None of your business!”.

    (He goes regularly to a bar which the local wags call “the petri dish” because they don’t follow any of the state guidelines. So far so good.)

    • #17
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Contact? Contract?

    • #18
  19. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    We have protocols that can do contact tracing without storing information.  That’s the only contact tracing app I will install.

    • #19
  20. Al French of Damascus Moderator
    Al French of Damascus
    @AlFrench

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    No contact tracers yet. I haven’t had enough contact to draw a contract tracer yet.

    Trust me, you’re not safe. My husband only works out at the gym and goes with me to the grocery store. Then again, why did he get the notice and I didn’t? . . .

    I got one of those messages and assumed everyone on Medicare did.

    • #20
  21. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    No requests for contact tracing yet, but since getting old enough for MediCare and Humana, we have gotten periodic calls about a free ‘service’ to come out and inspect our house to let us know what ‘unsafe’ areas we have.

    Now, our house is old (1803), small (probably 2,000 sq ft or less) and what would probably be called ‘quirky”. At various times we have had up to 3 Deerhounds at 100 lbs plus. Suffice it to say that we would drive some sort of inspector absolute crazy.

    So far, we have been able to prevent the ‘free service’ without any penalty. I think I would have the same attitude toward contact tracing. I am even more negative towards Apps for your phone that assist in this tracing.

    I get those calls, too. What I heard is that they use the visit to somehow re-classify you as a higher risk person, and somehow that lets them collect more from Medicare. Now I don’t know that for sure, but their persistence in asking suggests that it may well be profitable for them.

    • #21
  22. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Come back when you have a warrant.

    In order to go to Catholic mass in the Archdiocese of Chicago you need to register for a ticket online.  They claim it is for capacity.  It is obviously for contact tracing.  I’ve become downright Protestant lately.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    As @rodin said, I can’t see that it will be much help this far into the process. (I didn’t like invasion of privacy to begin with.)  I’m not going to help them, and I’m not taking any free services. We all know they aren’t really “free.”

    • #23
  24. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Come back when you have a warrant.

    In order to go to Catholic mass in the Archdiocese of Chicago you need to register for a ticket online. They claim it is for capacity. It is obviously for contact tracing. I’ve become downright Protestant lately.

    We need to do that if we visit the Cathedral, or go to a restaurant here in Sydney at the moment.  There doesn’t seem to be any fear of it, or hesitation about it.

    • #24
  25. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Contract tracing is one of the least intrusive and disruptive methods of controlling the spread of infectious disease.  It doesn’t disrupt the economy, for example, in that it doesn’t involve shutdowns.   It’s the most targeted method we have for controlling the disease.  South Korea credits it with its success in rapidly and effectively getting the pandemic under control there.   They have had 6 deaths per 1 million population since the pandemic started compared to the USA with 533 deaths per 1 million.

     Conservatives do not cover themselves with glory when they oppose every reasonable public health measure.  Just because the government orders it does not always make it bad.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Contract tracing is one of the least intrusive and disruptive methods of controlling the spread of infectious disease. It doesn’t disrupt the economy, for example, in that it doesn’t involve shutdowns. It’s the most targeted method we have for controlling the disease. South Korea credits it with its success in rapidly and effectively getting the pandemic under control there. They have had 6 deaths per 1 million population since the pandemic started compared to the USA with 533 deaths per 1 million.

    Conservatives do not cover themselves with glory when they oppose every reasonable public health measure. Just because the government orders it does not always make it bad.

    I don’t oppose it just because it’s from the government, although that’s a good reason. I oppose it because South Korea began it long ago. We are too late into the process to be able to apply it successfully. 

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Contact? Contract?

    I looked at the title a half dozen times and didn’t see the typo until just now, even after your comment, @rushbabe49! I’ve asked Bethany or Jon to please correct it, at least in the title. (I typed it wrong in the body, too.) Sheesh.

    • #27
  28. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Contract tracing is one of the least intrusive and disruptive methods of controlling the spread of infectious disease. It doesn’t disrupt the economy, for example, in that it doesn’t involve shutdowns. It’s the most targeted method we have for controlling the disease. South Korea credits it with its success in rapidly and effectively getting the pandemic under control there. They have had 6 deaths per 1 million population since the pandemic started compared to the USA with 533 deaths per 1 million.

    Conservatives do not cover themselves with glory when they oppose every reasonable public health measure. Just because the government orders it does not always make it bad.

    I support the use of anonymous contact tracing apps and contact tracing in the beginning of an epidemic or low prevalence areas.  The issue is collecting intrusive data – my field has a ways to go before it can regain the trust.

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Contract tracing is one of the least intrusive and disruptive methods of controlling the spread of infectious disease. It doesn’t disrupt the economy, for example, in that it doesn’t involve shutdowns. It’s the most targeted method we have for controlling the disease. South Korea credits it with its success in rapidly and effectively getting the pandemic under control there. They have had 6 deaths per 1 million population since the pandemic started compared to the USA with 533 deaths per 1 million.

    Conservatives do not cover themselves with glory when they oppose every reasonable public health measure. Just because the government orders it does not always make it bad.

    Exactly. In Massachusetts, the tracers are going back only two days and looking for only close contact. They are not revealing the name of the person who tested positive to the contacts they are tracing to protect the privacy of the infected person.

    They are also using it to keep in touch with the infected quarantined person, to make sure that he or she has everything he or she needs. It is a humane way of helping people isolated by quarantine.

    Frankly, I think it is a smart idea in order to keep this infection out of high-risk settings such as surgical suites and nursing homes.

    This is not the location-tracing system than China used.

    • #29
  30. Ron Selander Member
    Ron Selander
    @RonSelander

    Since when does Medicare use e-mail – or telephone “outreach” ??

    • #30