To reopen their shops, hairstylists are being forced to act as government agents. They must log your contact information for the government when you come in as a client. Why? It is all in the name of COVID-19.
The government demands to get your information for “contact tracing” – tracking and quarantining people who might have been in contact with someone who had the virus. The state already has about 200 people doing contact tracing.[i]
While we understand the desire to keep people safe, we are concerned about the implications of this edict and concerned about the future of such edicts to track law abiding citizens.
The edict by Governor Asa Hutchinson and his Health Department says:
“Practitioners shall maintain a record of the name, date, and contact information, for each client serviced for a period of one month. This may be accomplished using a sign-in sheet.”
Oh, by the way, “practitioner” doesn’t just mean a hairstylist. The requirement to record your appointment and contact information applies to:
- Barber Shops,
- Body Art Establishments,
- Cosmetology Establishments,
- Massage Therapy Clinics/Spas, and
- Medical Spas
So far the Hutchinson administration has not required such logs as a condition to reopen casinos, swimming pools, gyms, or restaurants, or from the Walmart clerk who may touch every item you buy and then hand you your change.
If the government is not just out to harass hairstylists, massage therapists, and tattoo artists, then to facilitate contact tracing, why didn’t they impose the same record keeping on every business in the state that has contact with people? It is because you wouldn’t put up with it. Nor would you put up with it if they tried to require such a log for participants in a peaceful protest or for people gathering to worship. But they are betting you will put up with it, if it is required only to go to a few types of businesses.
But hey, let’s not talk too loud about their inconsistent policies in who is and is not required to be a government spy because it might give the government more ideas.
Today the reason for this intrusion on our personal lives is the COVID-19 virus. Where does it logically stop? Will it only ever be used for declared pandemics? Might the government decide to use such a system to stop a disease before it becomes a pandemic? Could the government decide it wants the same information to combat other health conditions? What about the flu, measles, chicken pox, colds, or athletes’ foot? The potential health related reasons/excuses are endless.
What happened to the principle of a right to privacy (the right to be left alone)?
Speak up now, because mother government tends to use each intrusion into your life to build upon for the next one.