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When Did "Health Surveillance" Become a Thing?

Transcript of the above video:

I am making this video, I am going to be quoting source material from the Bangkok Post, but this video is a very general video. I am not trying to single out Thailand on this. This seems to be an international phenomenon and quite frankly I find it very, very troubling. I started thinking about this and I decided to make the video after reading a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Phuket Boss eases road pass checks. Quoting directly: "Phuket has revamped its health surveillance measures to attract more domestic tourists and ease the workload on healthcare workers screening incoming visitors by road says the provincial office." Wow. So much going on in there. Most notably, I love this new term they have thrown out, “health surveillance”. I can't think of a more Orwellian term for scrutinizing people's health and in my opinion, perhaps in a creepy, scary way. I mean the notion of “health surveillance”, let’s really think that through for a moment before I quote further here. As we have noted in other videos, I am not particularly quiet about my disdain for all of this health surveillance, for lack a better term. I am not a big fan of this stuff. I think it is very, very scary. I also think it is being promulgated without a lot of forethought and this is across the world. I am not pointing out any one Government. It seems like everybody is on board with this, with a few exceptions. To my mind, I think that the question really needs to be asked, "Why? Why are we doing all of this?" Not even to get into whether or not it is really warranted under the current circumstances which I would argue it is not, but just the basic human rights arguments about some of this stuff is scary to me which brings me to the notion of “health surveillance”. What happened to Doctor-Patient privacy? What happened to medical confidentiality? Time was, somebody asked you about your health situation, especially somebody from the Government and you are just going about your business, that was unheard of, in any country, Thailand, USA. I mean this notion that the Government has any, what happened to the notions of the Privacy Act in the United States that the Government has any right anywhere to say "oh well we need to know every little aspect of your health history. We need to surveil your health." Where did that come from and why is everybody seemingly so comfortable with it? That is my question.

Quoting further: "As the high tourism season from November to February is approaching, many domestic tourists are expected to arrive. This has prompted changes to Public Health measures imposed at the Chatchai Road checkpoint where much land traffic to and from Phuket passes." Quoting further: "Visitors are now able to test for COVID-19 at accredited medical outlets in their provinces and submit the results to officials once they reach the Chatchai checkpoint instead of having an on-the-spot swab test there." I think what bothers me the most is the notion that this is being normalized. It is just being okay. I understand in an emergency context. If we were talking last March or April, I could maybe see this but we are not. This is September, late September 2021. We know what this is. This is not an existential threat at the end of the day but there appears to be an existential threat to basic notions of freedom and human rights. Let's also be clear, we are not talking about international travel here. This is within a country. If people aren't concerned about that, they should be quite frankly.

Now another thing, I thought this was funny when I read it, quoting directly: "The change has lightened the workload of officials at the checkpoint and made trips to Phuket less of a hassle." Well you know what would make trips to Phuket less of a hassle? Getting rid of all it. That would be far less of a hassle. Go back to what we were dealing with March 1, 2020. No hassle whatsoever. You just go to Phuket, okay? Now, I am not trying to be funny, I am not trying to be cynical, but that would be far less of a hassle. Meanwhile, "the workload of officials at the checkpoint". Well you know, I spend my days trying to figure out how to lighten the load of Government officials manning checkpoints to scrutinize me and surveil my health. At the end of the day, I think we really need to be concerned. I am not talking about this from a Thailand specific standpoint. We are seeing similar stuff, I mean the things I have out of Australia, I am not even going to get into all of that are deeply concerning and quite frankly I am proud of Thailand for their relative restraint compared to some of that but that said all of these things I think we need to seriously be questioning: A) Do we need them? and B) Is it a good idea for humanity in a general sense?