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Social Distancing Frustrations


I took my one year old on our second walk of the day Saturday (yes, I am using exercise as a coping mechanism), and a group of teenage boys on bikes flew past us.  I looked up and gave an exasperated grunt from behind my face covering at this flock of kids, none of them wearing masks, all of them within six feet of each other, and glared.

I then rounded the corner and saw two neighbor couples standing in a yard, again not six feet apart, just chatting each other up, and I again felt the judgmental torrent of anger boil up inside me.  Why is no one taking this seriously? I fumed to myself.  Why isn't everyone covering their faces?

It seems completely rational to me to be irritated at the people that are not taking social distancing seriously, but I keep trying to remind myself that there are levels to this.  Some people may take my long, languid walks as unnecessary and dangerous, just as I'm staring down these neighbors.  No one really knows how far the coronavirus particles spread during exercise, and it's entirely possible that in a month we'll get new regulations.  So, I'm trying to have a little humility and remember that my level of social distancing may be different from others, and I have to be okay with that.

The one thing that is scary and infuriating to me, though, are the protests that are going on all around us.  This weekend in the suburb directly north of us, there was a huge rally of people wanting to get back to work.  I completely understand the need to provide for yourself and those you support.  It's pretty infuriating that people are having to make the choice of have enough money to pay bills and buy food or get exposed to a deadly virus.  However, you really cut your argument off at the knees when you're rallying in a tightly packed group while wearing no masks.  If you can't follow simple guidelines during your very much allowed civil disobedience, how can I trust you to follow these principles in your business?

We all have to rely on each other so that we can come out on the other side.  The more we don't work together, the less of us will come out the other side.  I have to remember that everyone out there is just trying to do what they can to cope, and perhaps talking to neighbors and taking bike rides with your bros is part of that.  This pandemic is going to expose all sorts of divisions in our society, but I'm still holding out hope that it's ultimately going to remind us that we're all in this together.

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