Quarantine

Quarantine entails the process of sidelining or isolating individuals who are purported to have acquired communicable diseases to see if they will become sick (“Quarantine and Isolation | CDC”, 2017). The health practitioners have used the process of quarantine for a long time in the bid to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. Even though quarantine serves the purpose of reducing the rate at which infectious diseases are proliferated, it is of fundamental to indulge into precautionary diagnosis before subjecting individuals to such fates. This paper focuses on my stance on why quarantine activities should not be strictly enforced.

Quarantine activities subject individuals to the restriction of movements and actions; therefore, it results in the violation of human rights and freedom of movement. Thus, not unless a precise, careful, and credible abundance of caution has been considered, placing individuals in quarantine is unnecessary and should be disregard at all costs. In this regard, quarantine policies ought to be sufficiently drafted to help reduce chances of making human errors when conducting such exercises (Maglen, 2006).

Also, on many occasions, people have been put in a quarantine area even when they have not been diagnosed with the communicable diseases. This increases their chances of conducting the disease from the infected members of in the area which is unfair to them. Doctors have always suggested that communicable diseases require direct contact with the infected person. Individuals should be allowed to socialize and interact together as one until a physician or a health practitioner decries a distinguishable symptom. Maglen (2006) suggests that the peoples’ freedom should not be overshadowed with the protection of public health.

Conclusion

In case of an outbreak of a communicable disease, the government together with the health sector personnel’s first option is quarantining the area. This situation can be avoided if the medical practitioners are always monitoring the conditions of patients in the country. The center of disease control and prevention should be provided with more funds to improve on their technology which will reduce the time required for a disease to be identified; thus, reducing the time people stay in quarantine areas.

New York City’s Central Park

This report is based on my site visit to the central park.  The objective of the report is to enable me to have a deeper understanding of the sense of place and how historic places and buildings reveal the culture and aspirations of the American people. Another objective is for a better understanding of the work of a historian by engaging in field research.

Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City. The park is bounded from the east by the 5th avenue, 8th avenue on the west, 59th street on the south and 110th street on the north. Prior to the visit I conducted some research on its history and found out that The Park was advocated primarily by the wealthy residents of New York City who had for a long time admired the public grounds in London and Paris. The facility was therefore put in place mainly to establish an international reputation as Americans had for a long time been labeled capitalists and non-social (“History of Central Park, New York”).

Over the years, central park has earned a reputation as the most visited public park in the United States of America and one of the most filmed locations globally. The park also boasts a wide range of public attractions such as Cleopatra’s needle, the zoo, the Belvedere castle among many others.

History of the park

Central Park was established in 1857 by the city of New York after the state legislature authorized it in 1853. The primary purpose of the establishment of this park was to refute the view held by many European countries that Americans lacked a sense of cultural refinement and civic duty but were instead materialistic. The park which sits on a massive 843 acres of land was constructed by Fredrick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux after they won the park design contest; this was the “Greensward plan”.  The park would later be designated a national historic landmark in 1962 by the U.S department of interior.

This park provided the high society of New York an avenue to socialize, and the poor were able to benefit from the clean air and uplifting recreation without necessarily having to spend money, and this gives the basis for the original sense of place of the park.( “History of Central Park, New York”).

Sense of place

The term Sense of place refers to the characteristics of a place that makes it unique to other sites or as I like to put it, it is the characteristics of a place that foster some sense of authentic human attachment.(“Sense Of Place.”). For central park, New Yorkers find this place to be a perfect escape from the busy and congested city life of New York. The residents mainly use the park for recreation, relaxation and most importantly socialization. I was particularly eager to visit the famous Belvedere castle, named for the Italian meaning “beautiful view” this castle has two balconies that offer visitors a panoramic view of some of central park’s most beautiful landmarks and therefore this was the first place I visited. At the Belvedere castle, I met 67-year-old Dana James who explained to me that central park was a great place to meet and interact with people and that most New Yorkers used the park as their backyard, to escape the city environment. I interacted with several people at the castle including a group of students who were out on recreation, and I deduced that the sense of place of the park or rather the human attachment of the park has not changed since its establishment in 1857. Since the park was created, it has been used as a place where people go for a change of environment and to socialize. Therefore the sense of place of this historic site has not changed from the original.

The sense of place of this historic site has been influenced greatly by the architecture, and land use of the park.  The park boasts many gardens, meadows sculptures and statues all which shape the human attachment to it. I figured during my visit that almost 90 percent of the park is nature. My visit to the mall, for example, got me surprised; beautiful American elm trees cover the area. The trees not only provide a picturesque location but also reduce flooding and erosion, keeping the park beautiful. The trees also serve to lower the temperatures during summer. The Great Lawn is the most famous green spaces in the world covering 55 acres of land. The park also gives visitors an opportunity to reminisce events in the history of America such as the Friedsan Memorial Carousel located on the 64th street. The architecture of the park also includes some statues to remember great and famous people an example of Cleopatra’s needle.

The central park fits perfectly in the surrounding area of Manhattan since it is almost the only place that New York City dwellers get the chance to interact with green space due to the congestion in the city. Getting deeper into the park, I almost forgot that I was in the middle of a big city. Central Park also goes a long way in improving the economic development of New York. According to a report by the Conservancy, the park generates up to one billion dollars both regarding direct and indirect revenue per year. The value of real estate has also increased around the park over the years. The park has also employed 1679 workers on a fulltime basis which amounts to 135 million dollars in economic output. Almost one-fifth of the park come from outside New York and generate more than 80 million dollars worth of economic activity around the park annually.( M. Kreinin-Souccar).

By creating jobs, increasing the value of real estate and increasing the economic activity around it, the park has contributed to rapid urbanization of the surrounding area, and this has enhanced the sense of place of the park even more since the residents turn to the park as their only escape to green space.

However, central park has a greater significance to its surroundings. The park protects the natural ecosystem hence providing natural habitats for different animals. The trees also serve to remove a wide variety of pollutants from the air of the very industrialized city of New York. On top of that, the park is vital when it comes to the collection of water from storms because its unpaved grounds absorb lots of water. ( Green Ribbon).

Central Park has helped a lot In building community in New York since residents can interact with each other and also meet new people. Most of the people I had interacted with during the visit had come alone as had I. There are also many spaces for events and recreational activities; this helps foster a sense of community. I also realized that the vast majority of visitors to central park engage in passive forms of leisure that are basically to relax, contemplate or to socialize and that a few; approximately 15 percent engage themselves actively.( Green Ribbon).

What gives the park historical significance is the fact that the park was the first of its kind in the United States of America. Also the park was established to step on the myth of most European countries that Americans lacked a sense of civic duty. The setting up of the park established the people of America as social beings and not individualistic and materialistic as was the notion among Europeans.

Conclusion

After the site visit, I was able to see how different it is to acquire knowledge first hand from the field. It was a whole new experience for me, and I must say it is more stringent than I had expected. This experience also helped me to get finer details on the meaning of sense of place and even to understand how different historical features have impacted the lives of American citizens. By conducting the research, I was able to have a deeper understanding of the work done by historians by analyzing the importance of central park as a historic site.

Despite having gone on an academic site visit, central park is one place I have come to know where fun cannot be avoided. The visit also took my interaction with nature and by extension to a whole new level. I could feel the sense of place of central park on a firsthand basis.

Police Body-Mounted Cameras

Police Body-Mounted Cameras

Advancement in technology is shaping almost every profession in the world especially the invention of mobile phone as well as body cameras. With a Smartphone, one can record events in real time and post them on the internet. Body cameras can also help in recording events as they take place and in the United States, many departments have adopted the technology (Ariel et al., 2016). The cameras are mounted on their helmets, hats, lapels, sunglasses, uniform collars, or pockets and can produce high quality images even in low-lit conditions. The cameras are meant to give accurate record of officer engagements. However, the body cameras are argued for interference with privacy of the citizens, deterring individuals from coming forward to witness, and leading to limitations such as increased police assault, thus the law enforcers do not have to wear them.

Police body mounted cameras may interfere with the privacy of the public since they provide live footage of the happenings. They may capture civilian activities and police behavior that should not be recorded. For instance, bystanders may be captured against their wish interfering with their private lives. In addition, some police activities may require privacy yet the camera may record them. For instance, it may record a police officer while in the bathroom or a café during meal times in case, the officer forgets to switch it off. In cases of domestic violence or rape, the video recordings may be embarrassing to the victims since they capture individuals at the worst moments of their lives (Pearce, 2014). If such videos are uploaded on the internet, they can lead to psychological trauma in the victims and their relatives. Police may also misuse the cameras and expose peoples’ bedrooms and living rooms matters especially if allowed to enter private homes for investigations. Almost a third of the agencies do not have any written laws that guide the usage of cameras to balance transparency and privacy of the public. The cameras may record people who have not called for police services or the general public. For instance, people walking along a street in view of a law enforcement officer may be captured and their activities recorded. Police can be accused of infringing on citizens rights and face prosecution, loss of jobs, or psychological trauma.

Police body-worn cameras can alter the willingness of people to report crime or testify as witnesses in crime. According to a six-month research conducted in Denver, the devices can change the reporting behavior of crime by individuals (Ariel, 2016). Witnesses are afraid of giving testimonies of crime for fear of intimidation if the cameras have captured their images. Individuals at the scene of crime may appear in video recordings by the police body cameras yet such people may not want to be recognized. Consequently, they may fail to volunteer to record statements or give evidence during trials. This may hinder prosecution of criminals or police officers who commit crime due to inadequate evidence provided. The fact that the body-mounted cameras record events indiscriminately can put some individuals in danger because criminals or their relatives can intimidate them to discourage them from being witnesses to the crime committed. Other individuals may assume that the video recording by police is enough to provide the needed evidence therefore no need for witnesses. However, police may turn their cameras off and fail to record a scene of crime. In such cases, witnesses at the scene are required to record statements to aid in the arrest and prosecution of criminals. The assumption that the police body worn cameras are always switched on whenever police are on patrol or arresting law breakers may make the public less observant in crime scenes. They expect the technology to offer the necessary evidence to proof occurrence of a crime without their involvement. Crime prevention should involve use of technology and the cooperation by citizens to help in investigations. Sometimes police may find it difficult to convince courts that crime occurred and the suspect is guilty without witnesses to support them. This may lead to dismissal of cases even when the suspects are guilty affecting the confidence of the police. Despite the use of body cameras, police need back-up from the public to ensure prosecution of criminals.

Body-mounted cameras may lead to limitations such as assaults to the corps, misuse of the camera, technological malfunction, and turning off the camera to avoid recording some incidents. Corps that put on body cameras have a greater risk of being assaulted by the public. According to recent research violence against the police, wearing body-mounted cameras is 15% more than for those who do not wear them (Dvorsky, 2017). For instance, the camera may experience a technological malfunction leading to accusation of failure of the officers especially if misconduct occurs. The officer may be accused of intentionally interfering with the gadget and may be prosecuted. In other cases, the police may forget to switch on the camera thus may be accused of disobeying the security rules. In other cases, suspects may attack the officers if they realize that they are being filmed with hidden cameras to destroy any evidence. In some instance, the police switch of the cameras to avoid recording some incidences such as during arrests. In such cases, there may be no evidence against police officers accused of violence or mishandling of suspects. Since the officers can switch on and off the gadget, there is a possibility that some happenings may never be recorded for evidence (Ariel, et al., 2016). It may be good if body cameras are controlled by the operations center to ensure that they run constantly except during lunch, when in the bathroom, or when one is not on official duty. In such cases, the police may be accused of being accomplishes to crime. The police should not be victimized in case the cameras fail to record some situations due to technological failure or forgetfulness. Victimization can affect their performance in promoting security of the citizens.

In conclusion, police body cameras, may help in improving security but may have several limitations. Since the camera records the occurrences indiscriminately, it may interfere with the privacy of the citizens. This is against the US law and the police may be sued for exposing peoples’ private life. Therefore, laws that regulate the recording by the cameras are important to promote privacy of individuals. The cameras may also lead to increased assault on the law enforcement officers as some people may fight back or attack the police once they realize that the officers are recording them. Police body cameras may also discourage people from volunteering as witnesses leading to dismissal of cases due to lack of evidence. This undermines the daily work of the law enforcement officers due to lack of support from the citizens and other parties.