Apple has COVID.

Apple calls Banana to tell them, because Apple saw Banana two days ago.

Banana tells Cherry that Apple has COVID. Cherry has not been in contact with either Apple or Banana for at least a month.

Does Banana have the right to tell other people that Apple has COVID, especially as no contact has been made?

There’s no HIPAA violation, because none of this is protected Doctor/patient confidentiality.

Is there a moral justification?

or

Is this just gossip?

Where do you stand on sensitive information being shared amongst friends?

Would you want your COVID diagnosis being shared with other people?

119 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Sensitive Information

      1. Good point. I was thinking of known gossip lovers in general. If I HAD to tell someone I knew was a gossip something personal, then I’d just know that the word would spread quickly, regardless of any warnings/pleadings/requests I might issue. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, of course, but not because you felt like it was your moral duty to warn them . I mean, sure if you were with a friend and you cane down sick , you might call them and say , hey did you give me this virus ?🤣 But the manic contact tracing of today is different.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I politely disagree. No, it’s not ridiculous . As a teacher, we were always required to let everyone know if a child had pink eye or strep, fifth disease, Or a severe strain of the flu or anything contagious. That has Always been the protocol. In fact today before covid schools sent out emails during flu season telling parents to keep their child home if they have the flu. You don’t promote the spread of germs. Trust me. One kid gets sick in s classroom and by the end of the week the teacher and half the class are home sick. Germs spread! In fact, when I was teaching and a child came in with a severe rash I sent him to the office to have it checked . (Teachers are required to do so in case it’s contagious. It’s in our contract ) He had shingles! Evidently He Caught it from his grandmother. The school board required he go home. And stay home until he brought a doctors note. When I was pregnant fifth disease was going around. That disease can affect the fetus, and I was sent home and then temporarily reassigned down town to the school board away from anything contagious. . You Cannot infect others. Suddenly nobody follows protocol any more. That to me that is what is ridiculous. Anything contagious is a community threat. That’s why it is absurd to me that people are annoyed about protecting their friends and neighbors . I taught 36 years. It’s been protocol for all that time . I was a kid in the 1950’s. If someone had mumps, chicken pox, pink eye you removed them from school until they brought a doctor’s note saying they were completely better. I am old enough to remember being in elementary school when polio vaccines first came out. Nobody complained about a new vaccine, students couldn’t come to school for months. This is not new. The only difference is back then citizens cared more about protecting their neighbors.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand what you’re saying. School children are a cesspool of contagion, especially because working parents send sick kids to school when they should stay home. I didn’t think that was what LA was talking about here. I remember when I worked in day care back in the 80s that this was a problem, sick kids in the day care. I don’t really think much has changed as far as people protecting their neighbors. What’s changed is that Covid has made people extremely fearful, even those with a low risk of serious illness. As far as the polio vaccine, there was no reason for people to fear it because the public had no idea that vaccines could be dangerous until the Cutter incident.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. PK I think it’s all the same thing, people young or old, at work or in social settings, do have a right to know if someone you were around tested positive. While we shouldn’t broadcast it to the world I think anyone close to or who was with the infected person should be alerted so they can get tested and not chance infecting others.
        And I think how people treat one another has changed drastically since the 80’s. In fact, things have changed dramatically since the 2016 election. When a bully becomes the leader of a country and spouts ignorance, and alternative facts became the norm, then that behavior trickles down to parts of the population.
        We certainly have maintained incredible health care workers and so many caring community workers who are extraordinary in every way. But I have seen first hand that many people are less kind to one another. And that is disheartening.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I doubt we’ll agree on anything if you believe society changed because of Trump. Trump was elected because life had already changed in several steps starting with the Clinton years, Bush and 9/11, the 2008 housing crash , etc etc . Our country has been changing for the worst ever since the internet became a thing and globalization changed the world economy. Covid was/is just another terrible crisis that was badly managed and created mass fear, suspicion, and division . If you really want to see the timeline of cultural decline you have to go back to FDR. 😔Take care.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Oh I am sure we can find some things to agree on. . And if not then debate is healthy. I actually do agree that a combination of changes aligned to bring Trump into power, but my comment was an over simplification of what actually took place. I didn’t want to go too far down the political road on LA’s site. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You guys can converse about anything you want! I love open discussion and frankly think we need more of it. My last bit is…don’t make sick people criminals.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. This country has been it a degree of turmoil since it was founded. That’s why I personally found it hard to get behind making America Great “again” when it’s truly never been great to begin with.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you up to a point. It depends on motive and permission. The powers controlling our society have made Covid into more than a virus (cold, flu, etc.). Therefore, gossips delight in spreading the word to incite and excite others that feed off of this kind of information. If I learn that someone has Covid, I ask permission before I share the information and then share it only with those who are going to actually pray about it. This same small group of people does actually pray about the smaller things that attack people–flu, fears about events, family struggles, etc. I think permission is key to the person that has the problem; motive is key for the person sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just don’t tell anyone if someone I know has it, by name anyway, because it’s not my story to tell. It’s been two years. It’s not an emergency situation it’s a fact of life

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “not my story to tell”–I very much agree with that. When you start telling other people’s stories, it starts to smell a lot like gossip. “not an emergency situation:” A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Pentagon chief had covid. When was the last time they reported that the ________ had a cold? It’s past ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Here in Hong Kong, catching covid or being a close contact is a 3 week prison sentence. I’d be a little more tactful about it for that reason. But elsewhere, I don’t know. Is it still big news if someone has covid? If someone told me about someone else who had it I probably wouldn’t think much about it (although I might check in on them to make sure they’re doing ok). If I had it, I’d take all precautions to isolate anyway. Tell who like.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so tired of this. Our local news media has been hyping since yesterday the anniversary date that here in WA we had the first confirmed patient in the states… anyway the morally correct answer to your question I suppose is that no one has any business spreading the news unless it directly impacts them. Cherry has no reason to care and can get infected all on their own. Banana is just causing drama.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The question is actually ‘Do we have right to privacy?” and it’s obvious that the government wants us to get used to NOT having privacy, from vaccine status to virus status to everything we say and do.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. My take,
    “Banana tells Cherry that Apple has COVID” is gossip but if Banana knows Cherry and Apple have a luncheon date…. then it is still gossip.

    We have a right to privacy, I live where I live because I don’t want the govt in my business but we also have a responsibility. I flew to FLA last year to visit my elderly and sickly parents. My brother-in-law picked me up at the airport for the 1.5 hr drive. Turns out he wasn’t feeling well, he ended up bedridden that night and sick as a dog for the next week. I never saw him again. Who knows what he caught, he refused testing. I was furious, I could have exposed the elderly and sickly. My daughter was helping my wife who was convalescing from surgery. If I was quarantined my daughter would have been forced to call out from work. maybe lose her job. My computer etc was home so I would not be able to work (assuming I didn’t get sick).

    Know why he picked me up and didn’t tell me he was sick – he had a right to privacy.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I guess being in the school system and responsible for the safety of a class full of children I look at things differently. If a student in my class had a deadly disease ( and that happened many times over the years) and The other parents weren’t informed how would you feel if the school did not inform you that your child was exposed. I’m 72. Back when I was in middle school I contracted mono. I had to stay home a month. Every child in every class I was in was contacted. And that was in the early 60’s. (To this day I don’t know how I got it cuz I hadn’t even kissed anyone yet lol.) But in the 60’s nobody was embarrassed. You just informed and protected your neighbors.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The school would be sued so fast if they named a kids name. If the school ever told me that Tara smith has aids I would be appalled. Or if joe smith had lice. Don’t ever embarrass a kid by saying who they are. Like hipaa rules…you don’t talk about someone else’s illness ever. You send out a letter. Someone in the class has chicken pox…you never name the child.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree LA that you certainly can’t send out a public email and mention individual names but you can still inform all involved that a student or students in class contracted a particular disease . It’s their right to know. I was also the Union representative so you do have protect individuals but you also have to inform parents. I feel we each have a responsibility to protect each other. My neighbor directly above me got covid. He told no one. I overheard his wife at the mail boxes telling someone to stay away . Now he was the building captain and residents often go to him for help regarding bldg issues. I think he should have said something and asked a neighbor to stand in for him until he’s better. It’s not like he robbed a bank. There’s no shame is catching a virus in a pandemic. But to not inform neighbors living pretty much on top of you is unforgivable in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No one should tell anyone’s business. Blanket statements. Don’t name individual names. It’s literally telling on your neighbors. I don’t want to live in that world. This has been going on for two years. It’s not an emergency it’s now a way of life. Assume some people are not going to do the right thing. Take precautions.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Well that’s theft . They stole information. Informing someone to get a covid test because they spent time near “so and so” is not the same thing. A student in my nieces class did not inform the school that her child had covid and sent him to school anyway. Needless to say half her class got covid and some of those children were hospitalized. The hospital called the school about those children which is protocol and only then did that initial child’s parents call the school. Evidently the hospitalized kids live in the same neighborhood. County protocol had child protective services sent out to the house of the original child . They checked the safety of the home environment since the parents were not only being irresponsible, but they endangered their child and everyone on his bus and in his class, the lunchroom, art room, etc. They gave her a warning but those parents now have a files. Reckless endangerment, neglect etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t see it that way. Not anymore. Right now in a pandemic I need people to know I have cancer so they will distance themselves. Not that that makes non vaccinated people any nicer. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. COVID is a hot button issue for me. Whether it’s telling others about having it or who is and isn’t vaccinated, most of the time this is no one’s business. Of course, if you test positive for COVID and were around someone, then certainly let them know. But I’ve seen personal information get spread around people’s families, friends and coworkers. It’s gotten so completely out of hand. I am so beyond sick of all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True but you live in a state where there is common sense in your elected leaders. My brother lives in California. His grandkids get tested in school once a week. Precautions tare taken. In Florida we don’t have leadership that protects its citizens. Therein lies the problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yeah… cuomo! What a piece of work. well in Florida they get right wing Extremists to intimidate and break legs. It’s crazy town down here…Quite a few of the Jan 6th mob came from Fl. 🙀Need I say more? Oy vey!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Reminds me of a children’s book I used to read to the kids, “Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom,” A told B and B told C…Given the fact that we have an active case in our house right now, I think it is very important for A to tell those they were in close contact with. I do not believe that it should extend beyond that. We B’s are only telling people we may have been in contact with during the previous few days. However, it may depend on the severity of the illness. If it is possible that A could be dying, and person C is a close friend, is it permissible to tell so that C could call A and see if there was anything they could do to help?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I need more details, actually. Is Apple likely to quarantine appropriately? Is Cherry likely to see Apple if Apple doesn’t quarantine? It could just be Banana gossiping, but it could be Banana warning Cherry that Apple could be infectious. Many people are jumping to the conclusion that it’s gossip, but i guess I’m more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to Banana at this point, rather than Apple, just because most of the people I know who get sick don’t take appropriate precautions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think if Alex wasn’t going to modify their behavior they wouldn’t tell anyone they had Covid. They would just carry on. Plus, as no one knows exactly how long to quarantine, especially if one is asymptomatic, it’s a real stretch to start telling takes out of school. It’s too I was just following orders for me

      Like

  8. I would normal say shut it up and mind your own business banana BUT with Covid so many folks are being irresponsible and showing up to crowded places knowing they have Covid! So I would very much like and appreciate if banana told me everything they know!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. Too many people getting sick and since I have a compromised immune system this is about health, I know my rights and understand my constitutional freedoms. And knowingly infecting others is not a constitutional right.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes Lesley!! My sister, niece and mother has a compromised immune system as well and unfortunately was around someone that felt as if it was “okay” to be around others and not reveal that they had Covid. It’s just not okay!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. It’s SO not okay. That enrages me. It is one thing to not know you are sick. But to know you have covid and deliberately expose others, especially those with immune issues is criminal. Or perhaps should be a crime. I have protested for peace and equality my whole life. But life and death is a different matter . Perhaps we need to enforce stricter laws until we get a few years down the road and covid becomes a yearly vaccine. But we cannot ignore the fact that vaccines got the numbers down and no masks, no vaccines and people congregating in large groups brought the numbers infected way up.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. If I got Covid, I’d want anyone I was in contact with to know. I also would not care if a friend told others that I’d not be in contact with that I have it. I have learned of people getting Covid who I have not seen in awhile, and it has made me realize just how contagious Omicron actually is.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s my responsibility to tell people I’ve been in contact with. If I haven’t been in contact with them it’s not their biusiness or anyone elses

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    1. In this case, cherry hadnt been in contact with apple or banana. If there’s no physical contact is it your business to share someone else is sick?

      Like

      1. Well what if Cherry, Banana and Apple all have a mutual friend..like Cherry is tight with Peach who hung out with Banana and Apple but didn’t tell Cherry. Meaning ya just never know how close anyone is in your circle. I personally don’t see it as an issue.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Man, I feel so unsafe out in the world. My friends and neighbors are okay to share their opinions and views but I cannot; I get FB ostracized.

    I think B should tell C if it would affect C. Just like how a relative of mine SHOULDN’T have told her neighbor that the other neighbor wasn’t vaccinated -it was the other neighbor’s decision to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These comments are fascinating. Humans are so strange these days.

    For you, cool blogger person, my opinion about Apple and Banana is that Banana spread gossip (for whatever reason) and Apple should maybe lovingly let them know that they consider it rude. It probably wasn’t intentional. Most people don’t understand about privacy and gossip these days. Cherry should treat the info as gossip, drop it in the back waste bin, and move on.

    Apple was right to tell Banana so that she could make sure it went no farther. Banana should only have informed those she may have been in contact with that SHE MAY have been exposed, and not who exposed her.

    All of this is ridiculous. At this house, we protect ourselves and leave others to do the same. The times we live in…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wouldn’t mind someone telling another of our friends, yet I would like to be consulted or rather asked first. I would be telling everyone I was in contact with regalarles. About gossip, it depends on intent. If there is an intent that is helpful, I don’t think it is gossip. If it is being related just to do so, then it is gossip. That’s all I got…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It all depends on their situation.
    Are they all good friends? Banana may have just been sharing information Apple would have been sharing anyway. Banana should have probably asked Apple if they wanted anyone to know, but it may have been typical of them.
    If it were a work situation I would say no, don’t share it. You probably share with HR and your boss, but no one else has to know if you don’t want them to.

    Like

  14. Hmmm…I don’t feel like this is gossip. One of my daughters had COVID a few months ago. When people asked me how she was doing, I was like, “She got COVID!”

    Now that I’m typing, maybe it is if the two people don’t know each other. I don’t know. Maybe I just talk a lot lol because I was also thinking I may just say this in passing, like yeah, my friend so-and-so is recovering from COVID. Or I know a guy who was on oxygen for six months, but I’m not sure it’s gossip.

    Maybe I don’t know what gossip is lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My feeling is, gossip is anything about someone’s life that they might not want shared. Though with your kid, I sort of think it’s different because someone asked specifically about them. When it’s friends, I feel like one probably didn’t say…how’s apple?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kathy I agree. I think gossip is relative to how we define or perceive it. I dont see this as gossip. I think this situation is more about informing anyone who came in contact with him and who needs to get tested. Not about someone spreading negative rumors. Gossip to me is mean spirited. I don’t see this as being mean. Now if they also mention that so and so’s husband is cheating, or so and so gained a lot of weight etc. that’s gossip. But trying to warn people to get tested because this person tested positive? Nope. I see gossip as unkind and I see this as more of a positive way to protect innocent victims and stop the spread of disease. . However, I would not comment without asking first if I could share the info to warn people who spent time with him. I understand that some people are private.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Leslie, I think you’re right, especially about the intent. Gossip does have a negative connotation, right?

        I also think there’s a difference between sharing somebody has COVID and someone has herpes, for example. To me, telling someone’s covid status is like sharing they have the cold or the flu. The latter seems more gossipy.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It depends on the scenario. If you sit at a booth at a cafe and say Apple can’t make it she’s under the weather, is different than sitting at the table in the cafe hey guess what, apple has Covid. I guess I hope that mutual friends are not discussing me when I’m not there unless it’s completely germane to the conversation in some good way

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree. But they HAVE to tell you if they have covid if they work as a health care person or in a doctors office. One morning My chemo nurse was late because she had to take her daughter to get tested. (Several of her child’s classmates came down with covid and she got an email from her daughter’s school that morning informing her). So she took her to the pediatrician early that morning. Turns out her daughter tested positive but my nurse tested negative. (She always is double masked and gloved), but she informed the women at the infusion center she was negative and her daughter was spending the next week at her ex husband’s. (They switched their parenting schedule). My nurse let us know the situation. That way patients had a choice on whether to stay or leave. I figured since she’s constantly tested and my doc felt she was ok to be at work, I was fine being there. But we had a choice! My chemo nurse continues to get tested twice a week so as not to chance infecting patients.
        I look at this situation differently. Im fighting daily to live. So I’ll be damn if I’m going to chance getting sick if hanging around someone who wouldn’t care enough about me that they wouldn’t inform me. I think that is like being an accessory to a crime.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Funnily enough, something similar happened to me. I had an appointment for physical therapy and my colleague had one the same day, with the same therapist. My next appointment wasn’t for 3 weeks, hers was the following week. Then she got a call to rearrange as the therapist tested positive for COVID.

    To be clear, in the UK there’s no longer a requirement to inform people if you tested positive, as we’re all meant to test ourselves regularly. It’s all about the UK government’s belief that the UK population can be trusted to do the right thing. So, I received no phone call and my colleague was outraged. I suspect she was more outraged that the physical therapist DARED to get Covid, but that’s another story.

    After she’d raged, it transpired that she doesn’t test, even though she regularly visits her 96 year old mother. She’s only ever tested for travel and – even then – she doesn’t do it properly. Only the nose not the throat, because “she can’t” (she has no medical conditions that would prevent her doing so – and trust me I know all her medical conditions – the woman has no filter).

    How did I feel about her telling me? I felt sorry for the physical therapist and hoped she wasn’t suffering. It was irrelevant to me, as I test myself now anyway. My colleague is not a gossip so much as someone for whom the having – and using – knowledge is about power.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. It’s just gossip. I wouldn’t be bothered because if I got covid, is announce it on the blog. However, if it was something else, like I tell someone a secret about some problem im having and they go tell others just to gossip, it would bother me. I wouldn’t do anything about it, except next time be careful what I share with them

    Liked by 1 person

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