Readers’ Forum: 2/2/21

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Technology during lunch

Choices was one of the best restaurants in the BYU Cougareat. It offered nutritious food at an affordable price, and thanks to the friendly staff, the purchasing process was a pleasant prelude to a delicious meal. Sadly, something has gone terribly awry.

As is true in many areas of modern life, technology is wreaking havoc on lunchtime at BYU. The new forced mechanization of the purchasing process is an unmitigated disaster. Until recently, I could waltz through the line, greet friendly employees, and indicate exactly which items I wanted in my bowl. Now, human interaction has been eliminated and replaced by cold and sterile technology that unnecessarily complicates the purchasing process.

Technology is a blessing when it is used properly as a supplement to real life. When it replaces reality and human interaction it becomes a tyrant. Everyone knows this. Customers should be able to speak directly with employees and select the desired items from the menu without being forced to type everything into a cumbersome machine. It is understandable that Choices and other restaurants in the Cougareat are trying to find ways to improve delivery and deal with long lines of customers. However, the zeal to apply technology as a replacement for human interaction is ruining mealtime in the Cougareat.

Technology is wonderful when it is used properly. A machine may offset some of the problems of crowds. But let’s think more carefully about how and why we use technology, even during a lunch break.

Please consider why technology should be used as a supplement, and not as a replacement for reality so that we can enjoy a good meal and good company again.

John Hancock
Class of ’03

The future of public health can be found “upstream”

While the word “upstream” is commonly used by fly fishermen while they explain to others where to cast their fly as they fish the beautiful Provo River in search of elusive trout, this word is not commonly found in the world of medicine. Just like the tricky trout, upstream medicine looks against the flow in order to identify and understand the “why” behind the “why” and the “where” beyond the “where” when it comes to patient care and prevention of sickness and disease.

In the midst of a pandemic, it is imperative to change the way that primary care doctors and public health professionals approach the overall health of their communities. Without the proper training and a lack of confidence to investigate further, primary care doctors, public health officials and government authorities fail to research the overall cause of a health crisis and instead focus on merely treating the effects. 

Doctors, medical professionals and public health practitioners will continue to find great success in implementing the upstream approach to health by helping those affected and the community as a whole in a more cost-effective and efficient way. When we seek to understand the root causes of problems in communities, health will truly become contagious.

Jake Johnson
Hickory, North Carolina

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