After hearing about U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles suddenly pulling out of the team gymnastics final at the Olympics this week to focus on her mental health, U.S. swimming sensation Katie Ledecky said “I would never want to speak for Simone or say I know what she’s feeling … But I understand it. We’re at the highest level, we have the most eyes on us.” Indeed, we are looking and reading about Olympians with rapt fascination. In fact, we know that at least 193 people, including 20 athletes, tested positive for the coronavirus at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Obviously, public health concerns are heightened during a pandemic at a potential super-spreader event like the Olympic games, but it seems like high-level athletes are always in a not-really-private situation when it comes to their health information. The push and pull of public good v. private rights is far from new, but this never-seems-to-end pandemic is putting these issues in stark relief. Like everything, it seems to us, we quickly get from a core health care problem to the question of how are we going to collect and store the information? If people refuse mandatory testing or refuse vaccinations, who is tracking that? It is not like that information is somehow magically digital right now. Rather than breaking up communities into did and did-not vaccinate, many people seem to be trying to avoid this altogether by encouraging people to just get the jab — proof here, here, here, here and here.
July 29, 2021 | 3 min read
July 29, 2021
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