Day 3 of intense social distancing and working remotely. I am trying to keep my regular schedule. Up at 4:30-4:45, shower at 6, daven (pray) at 6:55, work beginning at 8 or 8:30. I am making a point of dressing as I would for work (sans the tie – sorry Steve!) and working my regular hours. I miss the drives to and from work and more importantly the personal face to face interaction with my friends and colleagues.; I am maximizing my use of video conferencing to maintain personal contact within the requirements of “social distancing”.
While so far during this first full week of enforced social distancing most everyone I have interacted with is “with the program” there remain large numbers who are either coronavirus ignorant or worse – coronavirus deniers. Hopefully, very quickly, the ignorant will become better educated about the enormous task incumbent on us all of slowing down this deadly virus and conduct themselves accordingly.
The deniers, however, are of much greater concern to me. Whether it is because they foolishly believe (contrary to all the obvious evidence) that the coronavirus is just like the flu, or that G-d will protect those who do His will and therefore life can proceed as usual, or that those under 30 are unaffected and will not get sick, their behavior is risking thousands around them; risking not only that they contract the virus but that older and weaker individuals could die. Where have we, as a society, gone wrong when thousands of college age students can celebrate spring break on the beaches of Florida with not only no concern for their own health but no concern for the spread of the virus in their communities? How is it possible that hundreds of people attend weddings and celebrate as though everything is normal?
This pandemic is a challenge to mankind. Whether we like it or not we are all in this together.We can each rise to the occasion and act with concern for our neighbors – whomever they are and wherever they may be. Or we can be selfish and watch as the world pays an enormous price. Social distancing and remote interaction is no fun but it can be a tool to make us better people if we rise to the occasion and act to protect those around us and think a bit less about ourselves.