The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. It was recognized as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Fabric's international researchers have identified a surge in embodied technologies to be used for tracking and policing the outbreak, monitoring the infected, or in a few cases, predicting its onset. Written news, public broadcasts, government press releases, and social media circulation about Covid-19 technologies are contributing to this developing communication phenomenon.
Significant Keywords: Contact Tracing, Social Distancing, Robotics, Safety, Privacy, Surveillance, Lockdown Related Collections: Surveillance Issues and Technologies, Autosurveillance and Affordances of Personal Agency and Security (Curator: Suneel Jethani, University of Melbourne, 2017).
More information: Contact Tracing is “a process that is used to identify, educate and monitor individuals who have had close contact with someone who is infected with a virus” (Public Health Ontario, 2020). This act is currently being facilitated by the development of smartphone applications that utilize wireless technologies like Bluetooth and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Social Distancing (also reframed as physical distancing) is being mandated in order to help curb the spread of the virus, and this distancing is changing the way we live, work, learn, and connect. Lockdown involves a state of isolation or restricted access adopted as a security measure.