Contact Tracing Apps Violate Privacy

Two days ago, I wrote about The Rockefeller Foundation’s plan to test, track and trace all Americans — ostensibly to prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming us as we’re again “allowed” to venture outside our front doors in limited capacity around the nation.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s April 21, 2020, white paper,1 “National COVID-19 Testing Action Plan — Strategic Steps to Reopen Our Workplaces and Our Communities,” lays out a strategic framework that is clearly intended to become part of a permanent surveillance and social control structure that severely limits personal liberty and freedom of choice.

The Rockefeller plan calls for COVID-19 testing and tracing of 1 million Americans per week to start, incrementally ramping it up to 3 million and then 30 million per week (the “1-3-30 plan”) over the next six months until the entire population has been covered.

Test results would then be collected on a digital platform capable of tracking all tested individuals so that contact-tracing can be performed when someone tests positive.

Contact-tracing apps are a significant part of this scheme, and the white paper2 clearly states that “Whenever and wherever possible data should be open,” and that “Some privacy concerns must be set aside for an infectious agent as virulent as Covid-19, allowing the infection status of most Americans to be accessed and validated in a few required settings and many voluntary ones.”

Techno-Tyranny Steps Into Broad Daylight 

As noted in The Last American Vagabond’s article,3 “Techno-Tyranny: How the U.S. National Security State Is Using Coronavirus to Fulfill an Orwellian Vision,” the U.S. is rapidly adopting an artificial intelligence-driven mass surveillance system rivaling that of China, and legal and structural obstacles are now being swept away “under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.”

Indeed, the Rockefeller plan doesn’t even try to hide its draconian overreach and intent to permanently alter life and society as we know it. In the first half of the 20th century, George Orwell wrote a dystopian novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” in which the government controlled every aspect of a person’s life, including their very thoughts.

Today, scientists seem intent on turning Orwell’s nightmarish vision into reality, using the COVID-19 pandemic, national security and public health as their justification for doing so. Artificial intelligence — AI — is a key ingredient in this surveillance plot. Ironically, as noted by The Last American Vagabond:4

“Last year, a U.S. government body dedicated to examining how artificial intelligence can ‘address the national security and defense needs of the United States’ discussed in detail the ‘structural’ changes that the American economy and society must undergo in order to ensure a technological advantage over China, according to a recent document5 acquired through a FOIA request.

This document suggests that the U.S. follow China’s lead and even surpass them in many aspects related to AI-driven technologies, particularly their use of mass surveillance.

This perspective clearly clashes with the public rhetoric of prominent U.S. government officials and politicians on China, who have labeled the Chinese government’s technology investments and export of its surveillance systems and other technologies as a major ‘threat’ to Americans’ ‘way of life.’6

The document7 the article refers to was produced by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), a government organization created by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2018.

Its purpose is “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States,” and to ensure the U.S. maintains a technological advantage.

To that end, the NSCAI is pushing for an overhaul of the American way of life and economy in order to usher in a more comprehensive AI-driven surveillance apparatus.

Google Is a Major Player and Threat in This Arena

It is important to understand that Google has the greatest AI team in the world. To boost its powerbase, in 2014 Google purchased Deep Mind, an AI company that employed some of the world’s leading AI experts at the time.8

One of those top-notch scientists was David Silver, who led the team that created the program Alpha Go, which subsequently defeated the world champion of the abstract boardgame, Go.9 Most recently, Silver won the 2019 Association for Computing Machinery award for breakthrough advances in computer game-playing.10

Lex Fridman from MIT recently had a fascinating interview with Silver.11 The reason I mention it is because this accomplishment is perceived by many as a great milestone. It established deep reinforcement learning as a strategy that will allow computers to rapidly outperform humans and rapidly implement advanced versions of the surveillance state.

So, not only does Google have the AI scientists, but they also have the largest computing platform in the world and a major lead in quantum computing, already establishing quantum supremacy late last year.12

We Cannot Afford To Be Naïve

The DW News video above reviews the rollout of COVID-19 contact tracing apps in various parts of the world and their approaches to privacy concerns. Germany, at present, appears to be one of the nations that are most protective of their privacy rights. This makes perfect sense, considering its Nazi history.

Many Americans, on the other hand, do not have personal experience with the kind of human rights atrocities perpetuated in Nazi Germany, and fail to understand just how slippery the slope is.

Recent calls by American leaders to call police and snitch on their neighbors for failing to observe social distancing rules, for example, come straight from the authoritarian handbook, and there’s simply no excuse for not recognizing and interpreting it at face value.

Rights and liberties are never simply handed to us. Every single human right and freedom you currently enjoy has been fought and paid for in blood, and unless we refuse tyranny from the very get-go, we’ll eventually be forced to live under it or pay for our freedom with blood sacrifices yet again. We cannot afford to be naïve about where we’re headed.

Contact Tracing Apps Violate Your Privacy

A May 4, 2020, Forbes article13 by Simon Chandler points out that while contact-tracing apps “may be cryptographically secure,” they still “threaten our privacy in broader and more insidious ways.”

“On the one hand, cybersecurity researchers have already argued14 that suitably determined and malevolent bad actors could correlate infected people with other personal info using the API. On the other, the Google-Apple API and any app based on it carry two much more general and dangerous privacy risks,” Chandler writes.

What are some of these privacy risks? Well, for starters, contact-tracing apps require you to keep your cellphone on your person throughout the day, regardless of what you’re doing.

Aside from whatever concerns people may have about electromagnetic field exposure from their cellphone being on their body while turned on — which is no small concern in and of itself — your cellphone also tracks and shares countless other data that is unrelated to the COVID-19 app.

As noted by Chandler, “A Washington Post study15 from last year discovered around 5,400 (mostly app-based) data trackers on an iPhone, all of which were sending data back to third-parties,” and “all of these companies have an interest in using that data to later influence and indirectly control your behavior …”

Privacy Is About Preventing Interference and Manipulation

Chandler makes another very important point that many fail to remember when it comes to privacy:16

“Privacy actually gains most of its importance and value because it protects people from interference and intervention. You may want to keep your fondness for, say, ballet dancing private from your neighbors, because of the risk that they might mock your pastime and make you feel ashamed about wanting to be a ballet dancer.

You worry that they will interfere — either directly or indirectly — with your ability to develop as a person according to your own awareness and conception of your best interests. Exactly the same thing goes for privacy in the context of smartphones and digital technology.

It’s not enough to avoid sharing your data with the ‘wrong’ people (as opposed to scores or hundreds of ‘legitimate’ third parties). You also need to avoid interference and intervention to have true privacy. And in encouraging people to have their smartphones with them all the time, coronavirus contact-tracing apps fail abjectly in this test.”

COVID-19 Tracing Apps Set Precedent for Behavior-Control

Contact tracing apps will also “normalize the concept of apps themselves directing and managing at scale how millions of people live and behave,” Chandler points out. The app will notify you whenever you’ve come in close proximity of someone who tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. You’ll then be advised to self-isolate for a prescribed amount of time. As reported ty Chandler:17

“This is a massive problem for anyone concerned about the future of privacy and personal freedoms in the Digital Age. It would be one thing if any contact-tracing app could guarantee that a user had definitely been infected with the coronavirus. But there’s a very strong likelihood that such apps will also send notifications to lots of people who haven’t been infected …

Coronavirus contact-tracing apps will end up requiring thousands (if not millions) of people to quarantine themselves at home unnecessarily. So, in most cases, rather than preventing coronavirus infections from spreading, the only thing such apps will achieve is desensitizing the general public to giving up another chunk of their privacy and personal freedom.”

In other words, over time, people will get used to the idea of having their day-to-day activities predicated on what an app tells them to do. A virtually guaranteed result of this habituation is the handing over of personal judgment and discernment to an AI. “In the process, they’ll suffer from the kind of outside interference with their behavior that privacy is meant to defend against,” Chandler says.

Rockefeller Plan Is Not Limited to COVID-19 Tracing

The tracking system The Rockefeller Foundation is calling for in the U.S. also demands access to other medical data. According to its “National COVID-19 Testing Action Plan”:18

“This infection database must easily interoperate with doctor, hospital and insurance health records in an essential and urgent national program to finally rationalize the disparate and sometimes deliberately isolated electronic medical records systems across the country …

On March 9, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two long-awaited final rules that would prohibit information blocking in health care and advance more seamless exchange of health care data. But publication in the Federal Register, necessary to activate the rules, has been inexplicably delayed. This delay must end.”

In other words, this plan is far more comprehensive than merely tracking COVID-19 cases. It’s designed to replace the current system of “disparate and sometimes deliberately isolated electronic medical records systems across the country.”

Will You Embrace Totalitarianism for False Sense of Security?

A small shred of hope still exists that enough Americans will see through this ruse. Oxford researchers estimate19 that in in order for contact tracing apps to be effective, about 60% of any given population would need to participate.

According to a national poll20,21 conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland between April 21 and April 26, 2020, 3 in 5 Americans say they’re either unable or unwilling to allow silent surveillance by a cellphone app, even in the name of public health.

One in 6 said they didn’t have a smartphone. Even among Americans that have smartphones with the appropriate capabilities, about half said they would not participate.

According to The New York Times,22 only 3% of residents in North Dakota had downloaded the state’s contact tracing app as of April 29, 2020. The app was announced and released April 7, 2020.23

In Singapore, only 1 in 6 (20%) had downloaded the government’s contact tracing app by April 1, 2020,24 while 30% of Norwegians downloaded their government’s app within the first week of its release, according to The New York Times.25

In an effort to maintain some semblance of privacy protection, some nations, such as France, have decided to use “short-range Bluetooth ‘handshakes’ between devices” and keep the data on centralized servers, while others are opting to use GPS location data26 and a variety of other systems. A May 5, 2020, article in Tech Crunch describes the differences between some of them.27

As reported by BBC News,28 Cannes, France, is also trialing surveillance monitoring software on buses and outdoor markets to keep tabs on social distancing compliance. According to the software developer, this surveillance complies with EU data privacy laws by not storing or transmitting any images or identifying data.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard told BBC: “This technology doesn’t identify people but just gives us mathematical analysis to meet people’s needs.” Still, if rules are breached, the AI will send an automatic alert to police and city authorities.

Apps Cannot Replace Conventional Disease Tracing

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, has noted that these types of apps still cannot replace old-fashioned disease surveillance and tracing measures. As reported by Reuters:29

“As countries begin easing lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus, many hope to contain new clusters of infection through systematic contact tracing, helped by mobile phone apps and other technology.

But [WHO’s top emergency expert Dr. Mike] Ryan said these did not make more traditional ‘boots-on-the-ground’ surveillance redundant. ‘We are very, very keen to stress that IT tools do not replace the basic public health workforce that is going to be needed to trace, test, isolate and quarantine,’ he said …”

‘Health Passports’ Are in the Works

Aside from the Rockefeller Foundation’s plan for the U.S., other nations are also proposing the rollout of various types of “health passports,” the oft-repeated refrain being that without digital health certificates, it simply won’t be safe to return to work and leisure.

May 5, 2020, Tech Crunch reported30 the rollout of a contact tracing app in the U.K., developed by the National Health Service. The first testing ground will be the Isle of Wight, which has a population of about 140,000. According to Tech Crunch:

“The NHS COVID-19 app uses Bluetooth Low Energy handshakes to register proximity events (aka ‘contacts’) between smartphone users, with factors such as the duration of the ‘contact event’ and the distance between the devices feeding an NHS clinical algorithm that’s being designed to estimate infection risk and trigger notifications if a user subsequently experiences COVID-19 symptoms …

However there are major questions over how effective the tool will prove to be, especially given the government’s decision to ‘go it alone’ on the design of its digital contacts-tracing system — which raises some specific technical challenges linked to how modern smartphone platforms operate, as well as around international interoperability with other national apps targeting the same purpose.

In addition, the UK app allows users to self-report symptoms of COVID-19 — which could lead to many false alerts being generated. That in turn might trigger notification fatigue and/or encourage users to ignore alerts if the ratio of false alarms exceeds genuine alerts.”

What’s more, while the app initially only stores contact events on each individual’s device, once a user flags him or herself as having symptoms or testing positive, the contact data is uploaded to a central server that will store the data indefinitely, and from which it cannot be deleted.

This data may also be used for public health research, which again raises questions about privacy and the possibility of re-identification of individuals. May 4, 2020, The Guardian also reported on U.K. developments:31

“Tech firms are in talks with ministers about creating health passports to help Britons return safely to work using coronavirus testing and facial recognition. Facial biometrics could be used to help provide a digital certificate – sometimes known as an immunity passport – proving which workers have had Covid-19 …

The UK-based firm Onfido, which specializes in verifying people’s identities using facial biometrics, has delivered detailed plans to the government and is involved in a number of conversations about what could be rolled out across the country …

Its proposals, which have reached pilot stages in other countries, could be executed within months … The firm could use antibody tests – proving whether someone has had the virus — or antigen tests, which show current infections.”

Antigen Testing Cannot Ensure Safety

Why antigen testing is part of these kinds of “health passports” is a curious mystery, seeing how unreliable they are, not to mention the fact that testing for active infection is worthless unless you get retested on a regular basis. As I mentioned in my Rockefeller plan article, questions that have yet to be answered include:

  • How often would you have to undergo testing? A negative test today may not be valid tomorrow, if you happen to come across someone who is infected between now and then. If regular retesting is not part of the plan, then the whole system is worthless as your infection status could change at any time.
  • If you are in the vicinity of someone who tests positive in the near future and are told to quarantine for two weeks, will employers pay for that time off and guarantee you have a job to come back to afterward?
  • What happens if you quarantine for two weeks but don’t get sick and test negative for antibodies, then go out and happen across yet another person who ends up testing positive shortly thereafter? Will you be forced into quarantine again? Where does it end? And when?

Contact Tracing Apps May Cause More Problems Than They Solve

An April 27, 2020, article32 by the Brookings Institute lays out some of the many problems inherent with contact tracing apps. It states, in part:

“We are concerned by this rising enthusiasm for automated technology as a centerpiece of infection control. Between us, we hold extensive expertise in technology, law and policy, and epidemiology. We have serious doubts that voluntary, anonymous contact tracing through smartphone apps … can free Americans of the terrible choice between staying home or risking exposure.

We worry that contact-tracing apps will serve as vehicles for abuse and disinformation, while providing a false sense of security … We have no doubts that the developers of contact-tracing apps and related technologies are well-intentioned. But we urge the developers of these systems to step up and acknowledge the limitations of those technologies before they are widely adopted.

Health agencies and policymakers should not over-rely on these apps and, regardless, should make clear rules to head off the threat to privacy, equity, and liberty by imposing appropriate safeguards …

Apps that notify participants of disclosure could, on the margins and in the right conditions, help direct testing resources to those at higher risk. Anything else strikes us as implausible at best, and dangerous at worst.”

The article goes on to highlight a number of risks, including the fact that contact tracing apps are imperfect proxies for exposure. They can easily trigger false positive alerts in situations where the possibility of transmission is extremely low, such as when the signal has traveled through a wall. People in different rooms are not at high risk of infection.

The apps also do not take into account the use of protective gear by the contacts. Also, the elderly, who might stand to gain the most protection from it, are the least likely to download the app. Even those who have the app may not always have the phone on them to catch all contacts, and people might not report symptoms and positive test results even if they get them.

“Even among true contact events, most will not lead to transmission,” Brookings says, citing research showing that despite having about a dozen close contacts each day, the average person who is infected will only transmit the virus to two or three others throughout the entire course of their infection. Brookings continues:

“Because most exposures flagged by the apps will not lead to infection, many users will be instructed to self-quarantine even when they have not been infected. A person may put up with this once or twice, but after a few false alarms and the ensuing inconvenience of protracted self-isolation, we expect many will start to disregard the warnings …

Ultimately, contact tracing is a public health intervention, not an individual health one. It can reduce the spread of disease through the population, but does not confer direct protection on any individual.

This creates incentive problems that need careful thought: What is in it for the user who will sometimes be instructed to miss work and avoid socializing, but does not derive immediate benefits from the system? …

And finally, the issue of malicious use is paramount — particularly given this current climate of disinformation, astroturfing, and political manipulation. Imagine an unscrupulous political operative who wanted to dampen voting participation in a given district, or a desperate business owner who wanted to stifle competition.

Either could falsely report incidences of coronavirus without much fear of repercussion. Trolls could sow chaos for the malicious pleasure of it. Protesters could trigger panic as a form of civil disobedience. A foreign intelligence operation could shut down an entire city by falsely reporting COVID-19 infections in every neighborhood. There are a great many vulnerabilities underlying this platform that have still yet to be explored.”

A Second, Long-Term Health Risk From COVID-19

Decades of fitness research remind us that physical activity is one of the best preventive measures available. It’s one of the pillars of good health alongside nutrition, sleep and hydration. Evidence has demonstrated the effect that exercise has on sleep quality, mental health, heart disease and metabolic conditions.

For example, in one meta-analysis1 of 305 randomized controlled trials including 339,274 participants, researchers compared exercise with drug interventions on mortality in diabetes and heart disease. They found there was no statistically detectable difference in those who used exercise or who took medication in the prevention of coronary heart disease and diabetes. In fact, exercise was found to be more helpful than prescription drugs for those who’d had a stroke.

Physical activity is also a key factor for longevity. Those who engage in regular exercise have a reduced risk from all-cause mortality.2 As discussed in another study published in JAMA,3 researchers concluded “cardiorespiratory fitness was inversely associated with all-cause mortality” and it “is a modifiable indicator of long-term mortality.”

Pursue Active Stay-at-Home Measures

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, scientists caution that the official recommendations to restrict movement do not mean physical activity should also be limited.4 The clear health benefits associated with activity ought to encourage people to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.

Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., is a professor at McMaster University in the department of kinesiology. He is raising a concern that the prolonged stay-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic may result in unanticipated health issues related to inactivity.5

He recently shared information with Canadian Olympic athletes on how to reduce the impact of the lockdown on performance and how to avoid injury as they return to intense training after the restrictions are lifted. In a press release, he commented:6

“As we protect ourselves against the risks of COVID-19, we are spending more time sitting and less time walking, or being physically active. Extended periods of inactivity have a really detrimental effect on our health. Our physical health has never been more important than now.”

Phillips led a team that recently published a paper in The Journals of Gerontology7 in which they evaluated the effect of two weeks of inactivity on insulin sensitivity. The team engaged 22 overweight, prediabetic adults who were between the ages of 65 and 73 years and asked them to limit their activity to 1,000 steps per day.

This was done to mimic the level of activity a hospitalized person or someone who is housebound may experience after an illness.8 They found that the two-week period of reduced activity led to a lower rate of protein synthesis and deteriorating control over their blood sugar.

However, unlike younger adults, some of the older individuals’ parameters did not recover after returning to their normal activity levels. Phillips explained the implications of this data during the pandemic:9

“The reduced steps experimental model demonstrates what an older person who got the flu might experience if they were hospitalized for three or four days with respiratory issues and then convalesced at home for two weeks. The vast majority of people are at home during this pandemic. For older people, a decline in health may be compounded by both physical deconditioning and social isolation.”

Inactivity Increases Several Health Risks

If staying at home has reduced your activity level and raised the number of hours you’re sitting, then you may be placing your health at risk; this comes with long-term effects.

The World Health Organization believes that their data show physical inactivity as a leading cause of disability and disease throughout the world.10 It is estimated 3.2 million deaths each year could be linked to physical inactivity.

Much of the research on fitness and exercise has been on the impact it has on noncommunicable diseases and longevity.11 In one assessment of the associated risks, researchers estimated that by getting rid of inactivity, 6% to 10% of all major noncommunicable diseases could be eliminated.

These results prompted headlines comparing inactivity to smoking, as the number of deaths is nearly the same.12 People who are less active have a higher potential risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, depression and anxiety.13 Other effects from inactivity include:14

Fewer calories being burned

Muscle weakness

Poor aerobic fitness

Bone loss

Reduction in metabolism

Poor blood circulation

Increasing inflammation

Potential hormonal imbalance

Avoid Back Pain or Worsening Medical Conditions

Another risk of inactivity is lower back pain, one of the more common health complaints and a major cause of disability.15 It is also one of the more common triggers for an opioid pain prescription that may lead to dependence. Exercise and nonexercise movement are two foundational treatments for lower back pain.

In a systematic review of the literature,16 researchers found that those who exercised lowered their risk of developing back pain by 33%. They also found that exercise reduced the severity in those who had back pain at the start of an intervention. The researchers concluded that a combination of strength training with stretching or aerobic exercises done two to three times a week is recommended for the prevention of lower back pain.

During periods of self-isolation, people with underlying medical conditions may experience a worsening of their health with inactivity. In a commentary in Nature Reviews Rheumatology,17 the authors warn of the potential dangers for those who have rheumatic diseases.

People with these conditions have an increased risk of infection or complications from respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19. Sedentary behavior was prevalent before the stay-at-home orders. The negative clinical effects in the pediatric population with rheumatoid diseases include muscle atrophy, weakness, fatigue, insulin resistance and reduced physical capacity.

Although bedrest was a treatment used in the past, data show this leads to joint destruction. Since inactivity may increase with social distancing and quarantining, those with rheumatoid disease who were hypoactive before the pandemic may risk worsening of their disease, symptoms and comorbidities if they don’t become more active.

How Exercise Improves Your Immune System

There is strong epidemiological evidence that regular exercise and physical activity reduce the number of infectious diseases older adults will experience.18 While there is ample evidence of its long-term benefits on health, the effect of a single session continues to be analyzed.

One study was conducted to explore the assertion that after exercising just once, the body has a heightened immune surveillance and regulation function. The authors of this investigation also believe there is a physiological limitation to or delay in aging of the immune system with regular physical activity.

In a second review19 scientists summarized research evidence including the results of acute and chronic exercise on the immune system and the effect on immunosenescence (immune system aging). The data show a logical and inverse relationship in the risk of illness for those who exercise moderately.

Leading physiologists James Turner and John Campbell recently published an analysis in which they argued that a higher number of infections are more likely to be linked to20 “inadequate diet, psychological stress, insufficient sleep, travel and, importantly, pathogen exposure at social gathering events like marathons — rather than the act of exercising itself.” Turner commented:21

“But people should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during this period. Provided it is carried out in isolation — away from others — then regular, daily exercise will help better maintain the way the immune system works — not suppress it.”

Writing in the American College of Sports Medicine, Richard Simpson, Ph.D., believes exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic is necessary to positively impact the immune system and counter the stressful effects of isolation. Simpson writes of the importance to seniors, saying:22

“Exercise is especially beneficial for older adults who are more susceptible to infection in general and have also been identified as a particularly vulnerable population during this COVID-19 outbreak.”

Lack of Exercise Jeopardizes Older Adults

Unfortunately, the trend for inactivity rises with age.23 In addition to the health risks and immune compromise associated with physical inactivity in seniors, it also increases the risk for balance problems, broken bones and disability.

In older adults with arthritis, a lack of physical activity has been associated with a measurable decline in the ability to do activities of daily living such as meal preparation, grocery shopping, taking medications and managing money.24

In this study, functional ability deteriorated more in women and minorities, which the researchers attributed to a higher number of comorbidities such as diabetes, stroke, depression and cognitive impairment. In another study of older adults, scientists found that at the end of a 10-year follow-up period, those who were sedentary were more likely to have trouble walking.25

Develop a Healthy At-Home Activity Routine

Working or staying home can open the door for poor movement routines. If you previously had to get out of your chair at the office every 30 minutes or if you had a job that required you to spend hours on your feet every day, binge watching television or playing games on your computer can throw a wrench in those habits.

As a rule, getting even a little bit of exercise is better than nothing. Avoid sitting as much as possible, as the simple act of bearing weight on your legs helps reduce your risk of unwanted health conditions.

There are a variety of ways to use safe, simple and easy exercises at home that also reduce your potential for exposure to airborne viral infections such as COVID-19. Here are several suggestions to help you improve the amount of time you’re out of your chair so you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day:

Activity snacks — Phillips suggested26Prolonged periods of sitting should be broken up with ‘activity snacks’ like a little walk or going up and down a flight of stairs. A short daily walk has amazing properties from not just a physical but a psychological perspective. We don’t have to run a marathon.”

In other words, small movements may have big benefits. Consider taking a walk in the morning and another in the afternoon as the weather permits. Getting outdoors has additional benefits for your immune system, specifically from your exposure to the sun that may boost your vitamin D production.

Nonexercise Movement — This type of activity may be as important as exercise. Make it a point to get up from your chair at least every 30 minutes or more to stretch and move around. If you are working from home or spending more time in front of a computer or television screen than what is considered healthy, opt for using a Swiss ball.

These large, inflatable balls can be ordered online and most come with a pump. Sitting on one at your desk or while watching television encourages movement and helps strengthen your core muscles.

Strengthening — With inactivity you can lose muscle mass and strength. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to get a workout. In fact, you don’t even have to leave home. For more on how to get a strength training workout at home, see “No Time for the Gym Today? Try This at Home.”

Indoor Exercise — Getting some aerobic activity and exercise at home is not nearly as challenging as you might imagine. If you don’t have a favorite aerobic workout video, consider climbing the stairs or purchasing a stationary bike, which can be delivered straight to your door.

Nitric Oxide Dump — Your home exercise routine wouldn’t be complete without the Nitric Oxide Dump developed by Dr. Zach Bush. The routine I demonstrate in the video below works best if you complete it three times a day, waiting at least two hours between sessions, which is how long it takes for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release.

Because … Coronavirus – Anything Goes!

By Makia Freeman,


  • THE STORY:Anything and everything under the sun is being justified due to a mysterious killer virus.
  • THE IMPLICATIONS:Are people so programmed, so psychologically dependent on authority and so afraid that they will allow the desecration and destruction of hard-earned rights and freedoms – as is happening right now worldwide?

Because Coronavirus.

That’s what we being told. Everything has to change, cherished rights must be eliminated and new emergency powers have to be given to authorities … because of a virus that still has not been isolated, purified and proven beyond all doubt to be the cause of the alleged pandemic. It is clear the COVID-19 numbers in and of themselves are being grossly manipulated, due to many reasons such as false positives and counting everyone who died with the virus in their body as a coronavirus death or fatality (even if it had nothing to do with their death). Sadly, everyone is in such a panic that they can’t think clearly. Governments around the world are passing dangerous laws which are deliberately vague, broad and often without an expiration date. Is liberty dying to thunderous applause and the scared cries of people for an authority figure to save them?

Because Coronavirus: Hungary Gets a Dictator

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban effectively oversaw the transition of his country from a democracy to a dictatorship. On March 30th 2020, the Hungarian Parliament bestowed upon Orban the right to rule by decree (i.e. the power to bypass the national assembly) and to suspend existing laws. Not only that, but Hungary (which is an EU member) suspended future elections! This makes Orban the world’s newest dictator. This is an incredible development in a continent that prides itself upon democracy and a frightening abdication of power and responsibility by the Hungarian Parliament – all over a tiny, invisible virus that still has not killed more people than a seasonal flu, even taking into consideration the manipulated numbers.

Because Coronavirus: Philippines’ President Duterte Orders Cops and Soldiers to Shoot Quarantine Violators if Need Be

Philipppines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his ‘tough-guy’ attitude and his threats to shoot and kill drug users and dealers, was granted emergency powers and $5.4 billion to deal with the coronavirus crisis. This was after an earlier draft law (that got changed and didn’t pass) that would have allowed him as president to take over private businesses! The New York Times wrote that ““This limitless grant of emergency powers is tantamount to autocracy,” a Philippine rights group, the Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties, said in a statement. The lawyers noted that Mr. Duterte had once compared the country’s Constitution to a “scrap of toilet paper.”” Duterte said the following in a televised address:

“It is getting worse. So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen. My orders to the police and military…if there is trouble and there’s an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead.”

Because Coronavirus: Eastern European Governments Grab Power and Target Dissidents

The Govenment of Slovenia has set up the Krizni stab Republike Slovenije (the Crisis Headquarters of the Republic of Slovenia) led by the rather corrupt Slovenian PM Janez Jansa. The Australian ABC reports:

“Within hours, Mr Jansa’s Crisis Headquarters dismissed the heads of the defence force, the military intelligence agency and the national police … [independent reporter] Zgaga said the new Slovenian administration was using the coronavirus emergency as a means by which to entrench its power. “I believe it is a systematic campaign to threaten any critical voices, to make them silent, so as to stifle journalists, any critical intellectuals, and citizens,” Zgaga said.”

The same thing is happening in other Eastern European nations, notably Poland, Bulgaria and Kosovo:

“In Warsaw, the ruling Law and Justice Party is planning to press ahead with a presidential election in early May. While President Andrzej Duda holds court on television, thanks to Poland’s pliant state broadcaster, the Opposition is banned on health grounds from holding rallies. In Bulgaria, the Parliament granted new powers to the Government to use mobile phone data to track the populace — ostensibly to police the quarantine of those infected or exposed to COVID-19. It has also set up checkpoints around Roma communities — an ethnic minority often pilloried in Bulgarian society. Last Wednesday, Kosovo’s Government collapsed and its prime minister was deposed after President Hashim Thaci, a former militiaman once accused of war crimes, attempted to shift all executive power to an emergency security council which he heads.”

Because Coronavirus: Thailand’s Government Censors News and Intimidates Journalists

After declaring a state of emergency of March 24th 2020, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha assumed the authority to impose curfews and censor the news media. Journalists there have been sued and intimidated for criticizing the government’s response to the outbreak. On March 25th, Chan-ocha issued a list of prohibitions (original in Thai here), including vague and broad restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of the press:

“Reporting or spreading of information regarding COVID-19 which is untrue and may cause public fear, as well as deliberate distortion of information which causes misunderstanding and hence affects peace and order, or good moral of people, are prohibited. In that case, officials will suspend or edit such piece of news. If the case lead to severe impacts, the Computer-Related Crime Act or Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation will be enforced for prosecution.”

They used it to arrest a Thai man who posted something on Facebook:

“On March 23, police arrested Danai Ussama at his art gallery in Phuket, and brought him to the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok. He was charged with violating section 14(2) of the Computer-Related Crime Act for “putting into a computer system false computer data in a manner that is likely to cause panic in the public.” If found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to THB100,000 (US$3,050). The charge is based on a complaint that Airports of Thailand PCL, the national airport operator, filed against Danai for a March 16 post on Facebook. Using the alias “Zen Wide,” Danai wrote that upon return from Barcelona, he and other passengers on his flight did not encounter any COVID-19 screening at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The Airports of Thailand PCL alleged his post is not factual and caused public panic, and misled people into thinking that Suvarnabhumi Airport had failed to effectively employ COVID-19 screening.”

Norway Gets Vague and Broad Emergency Powers

Norway’s ruling party has been granted emergency powers to rule without needing to consult parliament. In fact, parliament has been suspended for at least one month; the executive branch of the government can now change laws without consulting parliament. World Socialist Web Site reports:

“Although Solberg’s government formally declared that the emergency powers would be restricted to combatting the coronavirus, the government made clear that the scope would be extremely broad. “We do not know in what context they will be used,” Justice Minister Monica Maeland said of the powers. “We will have to see from case to case.””

Tunisian Government Deploys Robocops

The coronavirus crisis is also allowing some governments to push forward aspects of technocracy, such as robotic police or robo-cops. Activist Post reports:

“The interior ministry of Tunisia has deployed “Robo-Cop” a police robot named PGuard. They want to use PGuard to ensure that residents follow lockdown rules to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The PGuard can run for up to eight hours and is equipped with a 360-degree thermal camera, four full HD infrared cameras, GPS and a laser telemetry system. It is unknown how many PGuard are roaming the streets of the country’s capital Tunis … When the robot notices anyone walking in the streets it approaches them to find out why they are out. They are requested to show their ID and any other relevant documents to the camera. The officers controlling the robot can then check the information to ensure they are outside for a valid reason.”

Final Thoughts: Anything Goes Because Coronavirus

When people submit to fear and shut off their faculty of critical thinking, manipulators pounce upon the chance to push forward their schemes of control. It is well known that governments have a set of desired powers on the shelf, waiting for the perfect chance to enact and execute them. They draft laws in advance and wait for the right timing. For those at the very peak of the NWO pyramid, they don’t wait for the right timing; they create the right timing by generating a problem or the perception of a problem. Remember, it doesn’t even have to be a real problem, as long as people believe there is a problem and are sufficiently afraid. Perception is everything.

NWO insider Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying:

“Today Americans would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will pledge with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”

Operation Coronavirus is changing every corner of all the earth and seemingly leaving no nation untouched. This is a scripted agenda for worldwide transformation if there ever was one.


Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at