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Cafeteria quarantine

Observing the way that various people respond to the national (and often to the global) quarantine, I can’t help but wonder what causes people to make the decisions that they do. Although many governors (ours included) have mandated that we wear masks outside our homes, I observe probably fewer than half in this state respecting this direction. As someone who always wears a mask and gloves, I don’t kid myself into believing that I have achieved immunity. But I am doing whatever I can.

The best example of what I call the cafeteria style of quarantine was overhearing a gentleman at Home Depot. He wasn’t wearing a mask but remarked, “I figure that if everyone else is wearing a mask, it doesn’t matter whether or not I do.” M first thought was, What if everyone felt that way? We would all be exposed to the virus.

On those few occasions when I get frustrated with the quarantine, I remind myself that it has proven successful at reducing the number of people who are infected with the Coronavirus. The information is often conflicting, the number of updates is staggering and the death count and totals of those stricken are heart-stopping. But my comfort, clarity and happiness are not the issue here. And while I am not responsible for enforcing quarantine or policing adherence, for the sake of the general good, I won’t complain.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem to be the best idea to adopt a cafeteria style approach to quarantine and public safety. That’s another way of saying, I’ll do this and this and this but I won’t do that. Coronavirus isn’t selective (or elective) – we’ve seen babies all the way up to the elderly succumbing to this nasty virus.

Let’s be good humored and cooperative, rather than cavalier and whining. As I’ve stated before, the fact that we didn’t ask for this and don’t know when it will go away doesn’t give us license to ignore or select actions designed to defeat it. I hope the man at Home Depot doesn’t get the Coronavirus. But he certainly didn’t help in not distributing it if he already has contracted it. Shalom.

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