How to Live Now: 7 New Rules on Social Distancing

There's no doubt that America is in the middle of the public health disorder, and Florida is one of the states that are on fire with the coronavirus. Heatwave will descend upon us, so it would be one good reason to stay home (and dress like an Egyptian). However, we won't understand the dynamics of transmission, if not determine the effectiveness of the lockdown, if we don't go out. It doesn't mean that it will be your patriotic duty to cook barbecue with your family (and friends) on July 4, as recent events show that a slight miscalculation could lead to an infection. For instance, experts insist that two individuals must maintain a distance of two meters from each other. However, some scientists argue that they can get a bit closer. If that happens, the chances of getting infected will increase by a small percentage. Small, but still dangerous. If you want to ignore it, think twice. Read the next paragraph closely.

Liverpool won the Premier Championship, and the police warned the fans about social distancing (while they celebrated like it was the first time). No report of any outbreak, which might be a case of dumb luck if compared to what happened in the Balkan region. A number of tennis tournament directors, all former professional tennis players, disapproved Novak Djokovic's handling of the Adria Tour, which was supposed to raise money for charity. Critics would be right if some of the young spectators would show signs that they are life-haulers, where symptoms include headache, fatigue, and increase of heart rate for weeks or months. It's just show that we're still in the woods. You must be grateful that this summer will be different from the previous summers, as you need to know the new rules in social distancing. There's a sharp rise of fresh cases in many states, and Trump isn't alarmed at all. Ignorance can be fatal.

Where Good Judgment, Common Sense, and Manners Will Do Lots of Heavy Lifting

You're allowed to use someone else's toilet if... you cover it before flushing it. The flush can result to a spray, which you may or may not notice it. There's a high chance of you getting infected if the person(s) who have used it before would have any of the symptoms (e.g. fever), if not asymptomatic carriers. The latter would be dangerous, prompting you to wonder if it's a good thing to endure the discomfort. Absolutely not! If it's a gathering, then it should be a good excuse to leave. You're not supposed to be part of a gathering of ten or more, but man is a social animal. The pandemic is an exception. Next.

You can get into a car with a friend if... it's really an urgent matter. But it's summer. You try to make the most of your time inside your home, resulting to a pandemic epiphany. You're about to become addicted to fitness, which is a good thing. (Dylan Alcott might have inspired you.) Running alone was incredible (until it dawned on you that running, and most events in athletics, are individual events). You recalled your mother, who was more than happy to parent you full-time. But you're too young to think such things. On the other hand, you can cite your urgent care GPS, which should help you drive around. Fast. It could be a good thing, but you're running out of excuses.

You can remind your friend about social distancing, but... you notice your friend looking at you in a funny way. Did you break any rule on purpose? There's a good chance that you would be berated with scientific facts, which is OK. You don't want to hear anything related to the coursework, and you're the least interested in books that might turn your summer into an unforgettable summer. (Not that the pandemic is the least memorable.) There's nothing wrong about asking, but you should have noticed the absence of face mask (or scarf). Call me rude, but...

You haven't talked to your course mates during lockdown because... there are too many things going on during the last few months. And you assume that they won't be looking at you. Time is not an essence, but not most teenagers would agree to it. (If you happen to be the clingy type, then there's no need to be defensive.) Just holler them, asking what hobby they indulge into. Don't be surprised if most are catching up with their reading, which doesn't have anything to do with the coursework. Someone might cite the Seven Voyages of Sinbad, which is about a man who made it his life mission to search for adventure. Sinbad may be the Grand Daddy of literary characters afflicted with wanderlust, but it would be a stretch to include the social media influencers. And it might remind you to stretch your limbs.

You can commute by bicycle if... there's a lane for such vehicles. Kidding aside, you can use it as long as you observe courtesy on the road. There's a small chance that you would shout at a driver (of a vehicle) unless you saw "Falling Down" (and the other films of Joel Schumacher). Some college students have been using bicycles, but you wonder if there is one who manage to ride for hours. It seems impossible after recalling the demanding nature of the coursework. It may (or may not) happen this fall, but you can try the long distance. Don't forget to bring a flask of water and face mask. You don't want exhaustion and pollution to force you to do a U-turn.

You're allowed to date unless... you don't go to a bar. You won't attend a party (unless it's your family's). And you choose Netflix (for the July 4 celebration). It might be a bummer, but it doesn't fall on Valentine's. You can drive around, and probably end up like those graduating (high school) students in "American Graffiti". Fuel might be a problem, though. Anything would do, as long as you avoid the crowd (And you're old enough to be responsible.) 

You're not allowed to hug because... there's a high chance of getting infected. Whether you're the touchy-feely type or not, or you want to hug your parent or sibling, you're aware of the new normal. It's a strange feeling, which reminds you of Philip K. Dick. (No, the pandemic doesn't remind you of a science-fiction novel.) You can think of a good alibi, even cite a pharmaceutical firm that will conduct a clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine. A college student is nobody's fool, though.

Given That Some Schools Will Be Back, What You Must Do

School children will be unaware of the dangers of being out all the time, if not going places. You have the responsibility to keep a distance from them without terrifying them. How?

You can make a series of facial expressions that you're not feeling well, but it might not be good enough. Just watch them from a distance. They need play, fresh air and normalcy. (In other words, don't bombard them with scientific data.) There's no need to be too serious (or anxious) about the pandemic all the time.

 
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