It’s been 3 months in quarantine. For all of you that have been stuck inside your house and wondering what it looks like outside in the real world—during a pandemic I might add—I’m here to tell you.
by Sindu Vipparthy
Here in California, it's been about 3 months of me being stuck inside my house. Nevertheless, I actually kind of grew to like it, as staying in my house all day really revealed my inner introvert and weeb self. But, 3 months inside does kind of screw with your brain a little bit, so if you’re wondering what it looks like outside in the real world, I’m here to tell you.
Since our state government has enforced strict rules about going outside during a pandemic, I, one usually to abide by rules, have been pretty resilient about following them. However, not everyone is as cooperative as I am; some people have disregarded the basic pandemic rules, probably instilling in their minds that everything is over and that we have reached the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, I’m here to discuss my real-world experiences on both sides of this trilemma in quarantine.
About a month ago was my first time going outside of my neighborhood during the pandemic; we went to Target. The store employees did not let the customers in if they weren’t wearing masks. Inside the store, as we shopped around for essentials, most of the other customers had been social distancing, allowing someone to pass by or waiting until someone was finished in an aisle. Target—and many other stores now—have also started switching back to plastic bags, bad for the environment, but I guess a way to hinder the spread of the virus.
Additionally, within my neighborhood, many residents have been keen on following rules. I go outside to exercise pretty often, considering that I have a very energetic dog that loves to go on walks. And when I do, people who like to go outside like me often get out of my way when I’m walking on the sidewalk, either by diverting into the bike lane, or waiting for me to pass by. Many residents are also wearing masks, sometimes even gloves, when they’re outside.
However, I have also noticed some people completely disregarding pandemic rules, even if they only have been released of stay-at-home orders. A week ago, despite my desperate pleas to stay at home, my family and I visited a local beach and were completely shocked: barely anyone was following social distancing rules and basically only WE had masks on. Even the officers supervising the beach were not wearing masks. Shocking.
But, this was a few miles away from my community, surely everyone there would be following the rules right? Well, as you would’ve guessed, I was wrong. Recently, while I was outside walking my dog, I happened to hear loud yelling from across the road; someone was having a birthday bash. From what I saw, there were over 30 people crammed in their yard, probably having a good time, but no way whatsoever following any rules. Governor Newsom would be disappointed.
But, in this controversy, I do see one exception: Black Lives Matter protests. If you haven’t been living in a hole, you have to have heard about the Black Lives Matter movement that is happening right now. Sure, it's not necessarily the best time for it, but we can’t allow the discrimination towards African Americans to occur any longer, can we?
Obviously, since it is the congregation of loads of people, there’s no easy way to follow social distancing orders in order to achieve an impactful protest. But, one thing you can make sure of is to wear protective equipment like masks and gloves if you’re going to one.
But, to sum up my “going out into the real world: quarantine version” experiences, I have noticed two versions of people in a pandemic. It's your choice what version you choose to be: one that is resilient in following coronavirus rules or one that disregards them. You can be an individual that values the safety of a few lives or one that doesn’t care. It's your choice. I've already made mine. Now it's time to make yours.