Dear Aunty Em: Social distancing
“What to do if you and your loved ones disagree on social distancing? Particularly if someone is not hugging or hand-shaking and their partner (whom they are intimate with) is continuing to hug, kiss, shake hands, etc. Should it be a matter of ‘live and let live’ or should the public health advice take precedent?”
– Face Off
Dear Face Off,
This is a conundrum. If you could ask your partner to wear a Hazmat suit (to be removed upon entry to your shared abode), that would solve things but I’m guessing this free-wheeling lovenik is not the type to bow down to such demands.
And hey, I like this person’s positivity but I also question the responsibility of their actions.
After all, when Hitler was up to no good, I bet there were some Jewish people who were all like, ‘Hitler? No way. He’s a good guy. He’s a vegetarian!’
There are public health warnings for a reason. Ignoring those warnings means your loved one is, at best, rash and at worst, endangering people’s lives.
Which brings me to the part about them hanging out with you. In the same way you wouldn’t deliver a pig on a spit to a Bat Mitzvah, you wouldn’t force your unknown germs on someone who clearly does not want them.
Why? Because it’s flagrantly disrespectful of that person’s beliefs, even if you don’t share those beliefs.
The bad news is that you’re going to have to impose your own quarantine rules until your loved one alters their behaviour to adhere to the overwhelming amounts of medical advice.
And if they don’t change their behaviour? Stay away from them until the danger has passed.
My normally liberal views have shrivelled into a state of rigid conservatism on this matter.
For once in your life, people, do as you’re told. This New Yorker article tells you how here.
How are you handling social distancing in your household?
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