For the first few weeks of the Florida Stay-at-Home order, I paid a lot attention to others’ social distancing behavior. After all, I was doing the right thing. My husband and I decided we would be prudent. We limit our time out of the house. We wear masks if we have to go to the store. We avoid crowded aisles. We don’t socialize. We use hand sanitizer, we disinfect food packages. At my Destin real estate office, I’ve removed the candy jar. I sanitize the doors and banisters. I’ve had to gently tell others to back away six feet. I had listened to the CDC guidelines and modified my behavior. But, why hadn’t others?
There was “civil disobedience” everywhere. I went to Walmart and noticed people crowding aisles, few wearing masks. I saw customers walking in and out of a convenience store while I was pumping gas, and counted 11 people going in, not one with a face covering. Then there’s Lowe’s – now that was a party. First, we could barely find a parking spot. Nonplussed, I observed multiple people crammed in a car, father, mother and three children, all getting out and going inside the store, hand-in-hand. (I don’t think you’d see that on a normal day.) I sat and waited for my husband to go in (just one of us at a time means less chance of exposure) and marveled at the jubilant throngs. It was like the mall at Christmas.
Social distancing on walks? Unless that was a couple I saw with their 45 year old kid, there was no social distancing. Walking side-by-side, baby cart by baby cart. Not in family units. A local neighborhood even had a food truck come and they posted pictures online. All were pleasantly three feet apart. They couldn’t wait to schedule the next one. And a Yappy hour on a cul-de-sac for all the dogs to play (with their owners). The neighbor kids, too. They go from house to house, in each other’s driveways with their bikes. Then they go home to their individual households. No virus-carrying there.
This was getting on my nerves.
For the first few weeks, I was upset. “Harrumph! How can they be ignoring social distancing guidelines?” Didn’t people get it? Didn’t they understand that even showing no symptoms, they may still be infected and cause asymptomatic spread of the virus? They would not just be protecting themselves, they would be protecting others if they were careful, stayed six feet apart, wore a mask, did not socialize in groups, and did not allow kids to have play-dates, as recommended by the CDC. But they didn’t.
Then I gave up.
I realized that I cannot control others’ behavior. I can observe it, I can be curious, I can even expect it. But, I cannot let it bother me.
The only behavior I can control is my own. I will proceed accordingly.
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Email Wendy: [email protected]
It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells short sale, pre-foreclosure, REO and traditional real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.
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