The challenge of contact tracing in America

The larger context: who we are as a people. We are the heirs of geniuses, of religious visionaries and visionaries of self-government. Read the Mayflower Compact and your eyes fill with tears. Even in 1620 they knew! We also come from people who fled, from rascals and renegades. We came from the nobleman who got the girl in trouble and hopped the next ship. We come from idealists who wanted to bring Catholicism to the Indians. We came from people who couldn’t make “back home” work, impoverished farm girls and boys, people with nothing to lose. We come from people who were oppressed culturally, economically or by their governments. We come from the restless. Once in a history of Wyoming I read of settlers who couldn’t settle down and dragged their children on an endless search for the right patch of land. That is so American.

There’s something displaced in us, and uneasy. Something violent, too.

We fled cartels. We don’t want people following us. We fled the czar’s cossacks. We said, “If only the czar knew,” and then laughed because we knew the czar knew. We came from the enslaved, dragged out of Africa.

We came from people being pushed around, and mistrust of authority is in our DNA.