Assuming that once you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you have the anti-bodies in your system. And that this means you can not spread COVID-19 to another person (just like I had chicken pox and no longer spread it). If my assumptions are true, then you become a hugely valuable person in a society’s response to COVID-19. Effectively, you can move freely without fear of infecting others or being infected.
The challenge is how to know this. Testing is obviously a key part. So if a country could have ‘approved’ testing organisations – generally Ministry of Health organisations – who do the testing. Once you have been proven to have the anti-bodies, you could be issued with some sort of certificate. To help with fraud prevention, this could be done digitally (and signed cryptographically). The Ministry of Health would not need to keep list of everyone, but the individuals could carry their digital certificate with them.
Once you have the certificate, you could have freedom of movement. And you could provide critical help to vulnerable people in your communities or assistance to the health system and so on. And you could easily ‘prove’ you are ‘safe’ by presenting your certificate – it could be as simple as scanning a QR code and if you have a legitimate certificate the screen goes green, if not, it goes red.
The same could work with children to help get them back in school. If they have been exposed and have the anti-bodies, then they too could have a digital certificate. The same principle could apply to old age homes or other caring professions – it might just reduce a lot of anxiety.
Obviously for this to work, testing has to be widely available. And my assumptions about virus spreading need to be true. But the technology to do this safely, securely, and virtually fraud proof already exists.
It might be a way to introduce some freedom of movement back into our countries. It might be a way to safely support the vulnerable and our health systems. And frankly, it would be the shift to digitalising our vaccine records.
However, we’d also need to consider the negative side. Would it result in people wanting to get sick, so they could move more? Does it increase the potential for violence?
But maybe there is something in this.