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  • Writer's pictureDr. Steven Taylor

Go home and stay home

Good advice today from the Prime Minster of Canada: “go home and stay home”. Most people are doing just that, but the problem is that a significant minority are not. A poll conducted by Research Co on March 19-20 (N=1,000 Canadians), revealed the following:

16% of respondents think that COVID-19 is no big deal (wishful thinking?)
24% think that the worst is over (contrary to projections)
22% believe that its “reasonable” to visit elderly relatives (not a good idea, especially for grandma and gramps)
30% think it’s “reasonable” to hold a gathering of up to 10 people (let’s have a plague party)
15% think it’s OK to attend large gatherings (I won’t be there)

The problem is mainly, but not exclusively, linked to attitudes of young adults:

In response to such attitudes, a new word has been coined: covidiot, defined as (1) someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health and safety (let’s use it in a sentence: That covidiot is hugging everyone she sees) and (2) a person who hoards goods, denying them from their neighbors (e.g., Did you see that covidiot with 300 rolls of toilet paper in his basket?)

One of the interesting things about human society is that there are in-built corrective mechanisms to deal with disruptive influences. If people act in ways that are harmful to society (e.g., spreading contagion by hugging, or hoarding resources so that other people miss out), then corrective mechanisms kick in (e.g., ridicule, censure, mockery of the bad actors).

“Go home and stay home” is good advice. The challenge is to find ways of making this a tolerable experience, or even a realistic experience for people who don’t have homes to go to.

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