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Why Aren't People Taking Social Distancing Seriously?

I Don't Understand Why It's So Hard For People to Take Social Distancing Seriously

Young woman on sofa with laptop

I've never been a fan of being told what to do, but when it involves protecting my health, the health of my friends and family, and quite frankly the world, I don't mind abiding by the rules. I've seen how the coronavirus has affected communities around the world and throughout the US, but yet, I still see people behaving as if they are immune to contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

I know people who refused to close down their gyms after their local government officials ordered gyms and other nonessential businesses to close, swearing that they were clean and safe to train in. I've seen others "social distancing" with a new group of people every day and throwing house parties as if we aren't currently going through a pandemic, which has unfortunately killed over 120,000 people and counting. Over the weeks, I've felt a rant brewing, and I truly don't understand why it's so hard for people to grasp the concept of social distancing and actually practice it.

Social distancing shouldn't even be a question.

I'll admit, initially I didn't think things would unfold as rapidly or as seriously as they have, but as someone who currently lives in the epicenter of the pandemic, as someone who loves their friends and family, and as someone who cares about the greater good, I don't get why it's so hard to follow this simple safety measure.

At this point, I can't help but think that those who continue to selectively social distance or ignore it altogether are ignorant and selfish. I'm not sure if it's because America is an individualistic culture where "I" often feels more important than "us," but I'm truly hoping that people will take this period of social distancing seriously. If not for themselves then for the grocery clerks, healthcare professionals, transportation workers, those in the food and agriculture industries, and all the other people who show up day after day doing their share to serve us.

I too want to celebrate my birthday with my friends and I want to hug and kiss my grandma, but I value their health and lives more than my desire to physically be with them at the present moment. Change is hard, but when it comes down to minimizing the number of people who will inevitably get sick and saving lives, social distancing shouldn't even be a question.

Image Source: Getty / F.J. Jimenez
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