Green, blue or red

Sunday March 28 2021

Saudi Arabia Minister of Health, Dr Tawfiq al-Rabiah, had received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and showcased his “Health Passport” on the “Tawakkalna” app. PHOTO/NET

I remember when the Covid-19 vaccine was being developed, people were worried that some type of microchip is going to be inserted in our bodies through these vaccines.

 And that we will all be spied upon, with governments being able to track our movements.

 As much as I do not believe that this is the case, I know for sure that the apps we download on our mobile telephones to register for Covid-19 tests, or take appointments for the vaccine or any other related matter to the Corona virus saga, are definitely tracking us smartly. 

These applications require you to switch on your location mode, hence the app can detect whether you have been in close contact with any person or place that may infect you with the virus.

One of the most interesting applications is one used in Saudi Arabia, this application has three colours, when it is green you can  go anywhere you wish without any problem, it is indeed a requirement to show this green colour once you are entering shopping malls and other facilities. 

If you leave the country even for a short while, The colour turns blue and you are asked to do a PCR test to determine that you are free of the virus, until that is done you are not allowed to enter in any facility. However, you can still leave your home, but if for any reason you come in contact with infected people, or get the virus yourself, the colour turns red, in which case you have to stay home until you are cleared. 


Of course, being vaccinated has the privilege of keeping the light green in many circumstances. Having this app on the phone is a must for anyone who wishes to leave his house and go about his daily business.

So what more will this virus do to us? We are now defined by colours and dependent on applications that allow us to move freely. And we thought passports are defining us, and visa requirements are restricting our movements, it seems the list of limitations is getting longer. 

The application that is used in Saudi Arabia can also detect gatherings of people beyond the allowed numbers set by the authorities,  people participating in such gatherings, Immediately receive an astronomical fine on their mobile phones.

In Europe, neighbours usually replace the apps and inform the police about gatherings if they notice such things happening in their neighbourhood, so you have to be kind to your neighbours to avoid being reported!