The 1984 film Top Secret popularized the phrase “Your papers please,” which in German translates as “Deine Papieren, bitte.” However, a recent story from ITV News in the UK reports that a police department has created a form where people can report their neighbors who are “violating” quarantine.
Humberside Police has created an online reporting portal where people can send details of those not following social distancing rules.
A form can be submitted advising of gatherings that are going against the current guidance. At the moment, due to the coronavirus outbreak, people have been told not to go out in groups of more than two people and only to leave their homes to shop for necessities, to exercise or to travel to and from work.
The force says the portal has been made in response to an increase in the number of calls to its non-emergency 101 number following the government’s announcement earlier this week around new police powers to disperse groups. (source)
Since the movie Top Secret is about East Germany, the phrase “Deine Papieren, bitte” fits perfectly, but to a context in the anglosphere.
I do not want to say that people should “violate” the quarantine, because there are legitimate medical reasons that seem to be based on real evidence for following them. To the contrary, I do support the current and temporary measures in place for the sake of public health, because until clearer information is able to be obtained, precautions are always preferable to assuming that there is no problem at all.
The issues start when the measures become a way of life, and not temporary measures. Life needs to return to normal, and it seems as though this may not happen based on current patterns around the world.
In all cases, there does not need to be a form to fill out to “identify” the people who are “violating” the quarantine, because this will turn into a way of people using the presumed anonymity of the system to abuse others, and likely for reasons not related to the quarantine itself.
Governments who encourage citizens to report on each other have been historically classified by America and other nations in the anglosphere as totalitarians or despotic.
If we hold to this concept- for the nature of man does not change -what is to be said when the US or UK does it?
Are they exempt from the same standards?
It is a legitimate concern that the virus is being used for multiple purposes, as a “gift” that continues to give, is being used to usher in a new age of totalitarianism.