Here we go again – and it's really our own fault.
The majority of states in the US are showing a marked upswing in cases of COVID-19. Due to this resurgence, the State of California has once again closed restaurants, bars, movie theaters, museums, and more. In some counties (including mine), fitness centers, churches, and personal services like hair salons and my son's massage therapy facility have also been closed.
Most of the spike in illness represents more community transmission. In other words, many of us have become complacent about the disease, tired of restrictions, and lax about wearing face masks, social distancing, and hand washing. Too many people are ignoring the guidelines, even though individual behavior is so important in controlling the virus.
And since so many people who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic (they get tested because they were exposed to someone who is sick), there could be a lot of people out there spreading the disease without even knowing it.
Apparently, we started thinking "I've been stuck inside for months, and it's time to go out. I'm bored and it's my right!" Starting on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, many people went back to their routines of shopping, dining out, and having large social events. This might be fine if everyone wore masks and kept their distance. But many people have not (I've seen it), and there's even been a rise in mask-free "pandemic parties" (here's how to party safely).
Since when have "our rights" come to mean complete disregard for other people? Without common courtesy, societies fall apart. It is common courtesy to think about other people, not just yourself.
Teachers may be returning to school with fewer students on alternate days, or no students at all and the unsatisfactory alternative of online lessons. Musicians, actors, stage crews, and other entertainment sector workers are looking at gigs postponed until 2021. Businesses which offer services we want face closure and bankruptcy. And just telling these people to "find something new" isn't going to solve the problems they face today. Many, many people want to work, but cannot.
So be kind, be smart, and stay safe. Wear that mask or face shield. Smile, but keep your distance. Don't get lazy or in a hurry about washing your hands. Stay home as much as you can. And if your income is secure, be thankful, and consider how you might help someone else in a less stable situation.
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash