Data Shows Most People Are Taking COVID Very Seriously
“The second surge will hit Florida in full force soon too,” she wrote of the state where she lives. “And all because people insisted on having house parties and high school football games.”
She was far from alone in feeling this way. Across all social media platforms, I saw friends, family, and acquaintances scolding their neighbors for lacking sufficient quarantine discipline. A former colleague who now lives in Maine, Daniel, posted something to a similar effect:
“Cases are rising everywhere in the United States. For the love of God people, I know you’re bored and tired, but now is not the time to be selfish. Stay inside and wear a damn mask!”
“Am I the only one still social distancing?” tweeted a friend with a chronic health condition, who has worked from home since before the pandemic. “It seems like everyone on my friends list is out drinking and partying, pretending it’s over.”
Throughout the United States, the importance of personal responsibility in staving off the Coronavirus seems to be a constant refrain. The systems have failed us, so we have been forced to contain the spread ourselves. But an individually-led lockdown without other institutional supports is sadly destined to fail.
As neuroscientist and science communicator Sam Yammine has often written, lockdowns are supposed to be a last line of defense, a hail-mary “Plan E” institutions reach for when Plans A, B, C, and D have come up short and need additional support. Here in the United States, we haven’t had much an institutional Plan A through D, so we have been forced to compensate for the spread of COVID by taking individual action.
Without measures like forward and backward contact tracing, mandatory quarantines for out-of-state travelers, rent assistance…