Thursday, December 17, 2020

Understanding the Potential Dangers of DNA Tests and COVID-19 Testing

 If you’re like me you have probably been tested multiple times for COVID-19. Each time it came back negative, until the last time - I’m still waiting. It’s now over two weeks and I was just told it was lost.  I most definitely had (or perhaps still have) the virus. All during that time I felt I was hit by a truck, couldn’t smell or taste anything and was having trouble breathing. I kept telling myself I was OK because I didn’t get back a positive test result. It wasn’t until I was eating sliced watermelon from a container that I admitted it. My daughter was screaming at me that the watermelon stunk to high heavens and to stop eating it. Thankfully, for the past two days, I’ve been great. I’ve been reading the papers and blogs, and trying to do some Christmas shopping on line. 

My daughter is an especially difficult person to shop for - last year I bought her an expensive ancestry DNA kit that’s still sitting in her room - she refused to take it. Why? Well, she carefully read the fine print and informed me that this company would end up controlling her DNA. It could sell her unique information to third parties, that could then sell it and the information it contains to potential employers, insurance companies or even pharmaceutical companies. Also, law enforcement can use it to track down unknown criminals via who you may be related to.  So what? Well as healthcare cost continue to rise, your employers may become privy to information you may not even be aware of yourself. You may have a predisposition to Alzheimer’s, alcoholism or Parkinson’s. You may become unemployable and if you are working become targeted for dismissal.  Also the security, or lack thereof, may allow your information to be stolen and potentially be used against you.  

I didn’t think about any of this and COVID-19 testing until I came across this article .  The teachers involved are concerned about their mandatory DNA collection samples taken for COVID-19 testing. These teachers and students have not been afforded the fine print in any kind of document which could alleviate their worries. The DOE is basically asking these teachers, students and their families to trust them. Has there ever been a time where private information hasn’t been safe guarded by the DOE?  I remember a publicized instance of student files thrown out with students names, addresses and personal information, in view for all. Does anyone think that was a one time occasion?  Most tests taken at hospitals and urgent cares are under the umbrella of medical privacy laws. As a DOE contracted company is being used, these teachers may have no such rights to privacy and security. That’s a huge problem. I believe their concerns are valid. That’s not to say that I believe mandatory testing should not be done, but every precaution must be made to ensure that this testing isn’t used as a weapon against the people it’s meant to protect. 


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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.