by Travis Mateer
Over the past month I have grown quite fond of Sara Alert. Every day she texts me asking me how I feel. Do I have symptoms? No, Sara, I don’t, but I DO have some concerns that I put into a song, which you can listen if you’d like.
I have been responding to the Sara Alert system ever since my middle kid tested positive for Covid on September 1st. The rest of my family is now done with Sara, but not me. For some reason my texts just keep coming, day after day, despite never having had ONE conversation with anyone from the Health Department.
So what is Sara Alert? It’s a technological product created by the Mitre Corporation described like this:
Sara Alert™ is a standards-based, open source tool that automates the process of public health monitoring and reporting of individuals exposed to or infected with COVID-19 or any infectious disease. It was developed by public health experts for public health.
And here is some context for the Mitre Corporation:
The MITRE Corporation was chartered in 1958 as a private, not-for-profit company to provide engineering and technical guidance for the federal government. Since then, MITRE has operated at the intersection of advanced technology and vital national concerns. We’ve grown to serve a variety of government agencies at the highest levels through the operation of federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs).
The company’s initial focus was on the continental air defense project called the Semi-Automated Ground Environment (SAGE). SAGE relied on the first digital computers to link radar stations, weapons systems, and military decision makers in near real time.
Cool stuff. I wonder if any Mitre products or services were responsible for our amazing defensive response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Anyway, while I’m glad Sara texts me every day asking me how I’m feeling, it IS starting to get a little old, so maybe it’s time to call the Health Department to see if I’m supposed to report to Sara indefinitely.
What I’m trying to say is that I think it’s time to break up, Sara. It’s not you, it’s me. I appreciate your concern for my physical health, but it’s time for this relationship to end.
We will always have the memories of our long September together and the hope that one day our kids can go back to in-person learning.