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Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: Corona and the Killer App

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On this week's episode: How technology has made our pandemic lives better—and worse.

It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like to live through the pandemic without the Internet. Aside from just staving off boredom, it has made telemedecine, remote work and online education possible. Around the world, contact tracing apps are being rolled out to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus. 

 

Don’t Touch Your Face hosts Amy Mackinnon and James Palmer look at the way technology has been harnessed to fight the coronavirus in some parts of the world, as well as fears that an increase in surveillance technology could concentrate more power in the hands of authoritarian regimes. 

 

They are joined by James Mwangi, chairman of the board of Safe Hands Kenya, an alliance of organizations using big data and technology to distribute hand-washing stations and cleaning products to at-risk communities in Kenya, as well as Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the Platform Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Further Reading

India was already a surveillance state. Its Covid-19 app goes even further,” Coda Stor

How Russia is using authoritarian tech to curb coronavirus,” CNN. 

How Africa’s tech innovators respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” Al Jazeera.

COVID-19 contact tracing apps are coming to a phone near you. How will we know whether they work? Science.

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to donttouchyourface@foreignpolicy.com.  See All Episodes

More Don’t Touch Your Face episodes:

Don’t Touch Your Face: What the AIDS Epidemic Tells Us About COVID-19

On our final episode (for now), we examine an older public health crisis and the lessons it offers.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

On this week’s episode: How the world may see more protests as lockdowns lift.

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