Just the other day, I’m going down Aisle 5 at A & P to get a jar of pickled pigs feet on the bottom shelf, like I always do every other Thursday. A lady was down that aisle with her cart on the other side, pointed in the other direction, looking at the macaroni cartons. She’s not wearing a mask, and I sure as hell ain’t wearing one. She’s not blocking the aisle, got her cart pointed north and south, like a considerate shopper knows to do, so there won’t be any “Howdy doodies” unless the body language dictates it once engage.
You’ve been to Krogers, you know the dance. Body language and eye contact, or lack thereof, dictate the social intercourse of every engagement, wherever encountered. It doesn’t require me 6′ to know someone doesn’t want to exchange pleasantries with me. But I’m an eye-contact guy, (it says a lot about those who are too quick to avert their gaze, if you haven’t noticed), so I’m always ready with a nod, at the very least. Walk down any street in Manhattan’s business district and you know why nobody there likes anyone else there. That thousand yard stare.
At the A & P she looks up, sees me, then looks back down as I nod. No change of expression, no glared eyes or sign of fear that I might come crashing through the invisible 6-foot glass barrier she thinks the state has erected around her. Just a regular Thursday like every other Thursday at the A & P. “Morning.” “Good morning.” Still 3 feet away, I bend over pull out my glass jar, then put my hand on the front of her cart to nudge it about an inch, and moved on down to the meat rack along the back wall.
I have no idea what she did when she got home. For all I know she rushed it, stripped off, took a steaming shower, sanitized everything, sort of like the Cheers bar scene back in the 80s:
In short, Americans have known how to socially-distance since we became a Republic. That’s why most of our Corona sick and dying are found in nursing facilties, where some 3rd shift attendant brought the virus in with the boxed chicken wings picked up at Arby’s just as they closed at 10.
We’ve been pretty good at setting our own distancing rules without anyone’s help for over three centuries.
Since I used to like dancing, I know what it takes to walk into a crowded club and try to get some girl to dance with you. I knew all the protocols and signals, which applied even in New Jersey, where I spent a week one night at a club near Ocean City. We both thought the other spoke Swahili. Or worse, try putting your arm around a date in a movie theatre, or worser worse, at a drive-in theatre, when the only reason for going there in the first place was to put your arms around one another. Who knew she was a Vincent Price fan?
My generation, and my sons’ generation, Gen-X, were versed in all the rules of social distancing by the time we attended our first dance around 10th grade. College was simply the advanced course, both in class and after-hours. Even then they had rules, and strict punishments, including jail time, if a male, at least, put his hands on various body parts without permission. There were rules for first base, second, all the way to home plate, but your partner was always the final judge. (When and how they made that final call made for some interesting trial testimony for a jury to consider, I later found out, but generally the rule is still that if a female reports misconduct to authorities within a reasonable time, 2-3 days, and has come corroboration, the accused guy is SOL (These days, if that guy is an enemy of Democrats such charges can stand as long a 25 years while any friend of Democrats gets a pass after only a few weeks.)
Good up-bringing, i.e, manners help, but I can say with some pride that in all those games of slap-and-tickle, and foul balls, I never once got my face slapped, or had to take the girl home early before Vincent Price was swallowed up by the monster he had created in his lab.
I agree with What JadedbyPolitics said. except to add that maybe, instead of waiting for our many states and city governments to “let us” go to back to living the way we once lived, just go do it ourselves. Yes, there will be arrests, handcuffs, but I doubt any jury convictions or jail time will follow. I can’t imagine a jurisdiction in America where private attorneys wouldn’t volunteer an hour or so of their time to walk over to the courthouse and demand a jury trial (you can do this for a traffic ticket you know?…makes ’em mad, too.). I once got a young married kid acquitted for vehicular homicide in Arizona, simply because the county prosecutor wanted to run for higher offer. Two day trial. Great win for the kid (wasn’t his fault), good win for me, big, big win for Arizona.
Get with friends and do a little organizing. Bring these jackboot police-state thugs to heel without so much as a shot fired. (I’ve made a kind of study of the subject over the years. Some citations included here.)
What makes America special all the way to its core, is, with all that firepower buried out in the backyard, we’ve still restrained ourselves from becoming The Mob or the Vigilance Committee.
Protecting that core is very important these days.