Ford Vox is a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine and a journalist who contributes frequently to CNN Opinion. Follow him on Twitter @FordVox. The views expressed in this commentary belong to the author. View more opinion at CNN. (CNN)Pandemics aren’t secret. But too many of us are treating the novel coronavirus as if it’s a private affair, and that will get people killed. For much of the confusion, thank a suite of federal laws regulating health information, all poorly designed for our current predicament.Quick: Think of everyone you’ve come in contact with or have been in close proximity to over the past two weeks. How accurate is your recollection? Think you may have left someone out? Most likely.Despite the miserable accuracy we can expect from such questioning, many American companies are relying on this method to query employees who might have a Covid-19 infection. Using this information gleaned from the sick employee, they are then reaching out to coworkers who could have been exposed. This is all in an attempt to protect the health privacy of the sick employee if the employee doesn’t agree to have their name circulated. The novel coronavirus is a freely available pathogen spreading like wildfire.

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