What Grinds my Gears?


One of the many protesters at a rally in Austin, Texas claiming people’s rights are being restricted by having to wear a mask. Photo courtesy of Sergio Flores/Getty Images.

Ben Grunow, Staff Writer

       You know what grinds my gears? People’s inability to social distance and follow the guidelines of this quarantine. 

       This COVD-19 outbreak has been classified as a pandemic and has infected over 3 million people globally. That being said, the US is one of the countries worst affected by this virus with at least 1.3 million reported cases and 71,000+ deaths related to COVD-19. Connecticut has at least 30,000 cases and 2,633 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University Center. Despite all of this going on, there are still people in our country that aren’t taking this pandemic and the government guidelines seriously. They think hanging out with their friends or significant other is more important than the lives of millions. 

       There are thousands of individuals in the U.S. getting extremely sick because of this virus and a portion of these people are dying because of it. Hospitals are experiencing shortages of beds and safety equipment. Unemployment has skyrocketed and some people’s lives have been changed forever. 

       A friend of my family’s was actually diagnosed with the coronavirus in March and suffered greatly because of it. Nancy Tamanio Oleynik wrote her experience on Facebook so friends and family would know why it is so important we do our part to stop the spread, “My cough became more wet, I had more phlegm in my upper airway, and my fever rose to just under 103. I didn’t leave my bed for the next three days. I committed to drinking as much water as I could, using an IV hydration solution mixed into my water.  It was a rough three days and of course coincided with the weekend.  

       “ I was lucky to get a doctor’s order and drove over to the Arlington County drive through testing site and got swabbed. It was the first day of operations and I was one of the first patients. It was an odd experience, to have gowned and masked medical personnel giving you instructions through your closed car window using megaphones and portable PA systems. Very dystopian.”

       This is just one person’s experience of the virus, and her symptoms were milder compared to what many others go through. So sure, a certain age group may not be as severely affected as others by the coronavirus, but thinking you are safe to do as you please because you don’t believe you will get sick or die from it is just plain ignorant. Due to the actions of some people, not social distancing, they put the lives of people around them at risk. Just because you miss your s/o does not make you special. Newsflash, you’re stuck in the same boat as everyone else, so if everyone else is quarantined, so are you. 

       Not social distancing is ignoring the reality of what we as a WORLD are facing and making this last a lot longer than it needs to. Not only that, but these people are endangering the lives of everyone they come in contact with. I’m sorry to say it, but a relationship with a significant other is not more important than the many lives that could be affected by your actions.

       Finally, there are hundreds of people lining the streets all over the country protesting the quarantine and saying it is unfair that they have to wear masks and that business can’t open. The amount of self-centered entitlement some people have is ridiculous; because only the most selfish and disrespectful person would believe that small commodities, such as haircuts and dinners out, are worth ignoring government and CDC guidelines about how to protect others from this virus. While it can be frustrating to put everyday luxuries on hold, we must think of everyone, especially our most vulnerable population.

       Everyone is suffering through the same ordeal as these protesters because it is for the greater good, so social interactions and luxuries can wait. There was a protest on April 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas, where many individuals, crowded the Texas state capitol, claiming the quarantine was violating their constitutional rights. They believed social distancing laws are not fair, and believed protesting in a large not socially distancing group is fine. They believe their wants are more important than a pandemic.

       That is what grinds my gears. People’s inability to understand basic directions and practice social distancing. While we are heading into May and the weather is getting nicer, we must remember that we are in unprecedented time and for now social distancing is what we can do to support those around us.