Why You Should Be Keeping a ‘Contact Journal’ Right Now
Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, is asking everyone in the state to keep a log of their whereabouts during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. At a press briefing on Tuesday, March 31, Governor Raimondo explained the necessity of such a document. "If you start to feel symptoms, we're going to have to do the contact tracing of every place you've been and everyone you've been in touch with for several days prior to that," said Raimondo. This log will make things easier and allow the team to act quickly. "Hopefully, you won't need it, but if you do, you'll be glad you had it."
Governor Raimondo has emphasized the importance of this homework assignment to Rhode Island residents almost every day since the project was first announced. "Contact tracing will save lives," said Governor Raimondo on Wednesday, April 1. "It sounds simple, but it's a lifesaver. I need every single Rhode Islander, in a notebook, at the end of every day while it's still fresh in your mind, I want you to write down, where you've been and exactly who you've been in contact with and write the date on it. It should be very easy because you should be saying, 'I've been in my house and in contact with my family."
However, social distancing is not always practiced as well as we can hope. "For those of you who have to go to work, or maybe you went to the park, or maybe you go for a walk, or maybe you went to the grocery store, I need you to write it down every single day. So that if you do get sick, or someone in your family gets sick, our contact tracing team has a better ability to figure out who you may have spread the disease to."
I decided to accept Governor Raimondo's challenge to trace my steps for the last week in order to figure out if I'm really doing my part to flatten the curve. I started a Google Doc and worked backward to list the places I've been and the people I came in contact with at each place. Grocery stores are tough, so I wrote down the times that I was there, hoping that would help narrow it down. While I can honestly say that I've been home nearly 90 percent of the time, I could be doing a lot better at keeping my butt at the Silvia household.
Will you keep a contact journal?