‘Don’t come near me!’: how Americans fulfill the requirements of the quarantine

The quarantine because the quarantine, decided my husband and last week we went for a walk in the mountains — away from people, says the correspondent of “voice of America” Maria Prus. Washington is two hours from the scenic Shenandoah national Park, it is part of the Appalachian mountains.

'Не подходи ко мне!': как американцы выполняют требования карантина

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The trail we chose was somewhere half a meter in width, so stick on her two-meter distance with other people was not easy. Some, seeing us, stopped on the wide areas and politely passed, often turning away, to literally not breathe on each other and not share germs. I thought careful was elderly and Asian Americans.

But of course thought not all: some companies of young Americans continued to ignore our attempts to skip them and pass on the greatest possible distance.

However, what struck me more was the reaction of one young woman, when we tried to overtake her and the companion. We wanted to quickly run around them because they moved very slowly, but when we got close to three meters, she turned around, straightened out an arm and rudely shouted, “don’t come near me!” We tried to explain that you want to go forward, and she snapped: “Wait for a wide space of the trail”. I share her desire to protect themselves from potential infection, but of course, bad manners is not justified.

Now, in most States, national parks closed, because on those trails is really impossible to adhere to the recommended two meters of distance. Also in our area closed all public places, the entrance in which to hang a lock: Playground, tennis courts, dog parks. On open soccer fields partially deployed gate so that people couldn’t play. Everywhere there are signs calling people’s attention to quarantine measures.

And according to my observations, about 70-80% of people still try to avoid close contact with others: when someone goes forward, crossing the street or walking on the bike path, exercise alone or only with family. In stores approach the shelves in a queue at the checkout — leave about a metre between their cart and the next customer. For example, yesterday I asked a neighbour from our home not to come in with me in the Elevator, and he quietly complied with my request.

Of course, there are exceptions: at the stadium I saw six guys hands and threw the ball for American football, and several people in the group with the trainer was performing athletic exercises, standing very close. Sometimes, the store some people are too close.

But, in my opinion, Americans have always more respect for other’s personal space, for example, than Ukrainians. In the US is not breathing down my neck in queues, pass in the door, sorry if you can’t miss. In some States, people are generally not used, that they without the need can approach a stranger closer than arm’s length, with the exception of transport, Elevator and crowd.

Yesterday after work (from home) I went out to get some air in the Park and met a neighbor. We talked for about half hour, quite comfortable maintaining a distance of about two meters.

Yes, quarantine is changing our daily life, but does not prevent communication, do not cancel the walk (in the USA they are allowed) and life in General does not put on pause. To comply with the rules of social distancing is possible. In the end, this is a small price for our health, especially compared with the risk faced by physicians and other first responders — remember that for them the option to stay home and avoid contact with other people simply does not exist.

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