COVID-19 affects healthy and unhealthy people equally as individuals experience a combination of quarantine, social distancing, and isolation. These factors can lead to poor and aggressive behavior.
“Social Distancing or physical distancing is a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions or measures taken to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other,” as defined by John Hopkins Medical School.
Many people have heard of quarantining in movies or other disease-related scenarios. Some may not have believed it would be something that would happen to them or their loved ones until the spread of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Quarantines are for people or groups who do not have symptoms but were exposed to the sickness. A quarantine keeps those exposed away from others as not to infect anyone unknowingly. Isolation serves the same purpose as quarantine. The difference is that isolation is reserved for individuals who are already sick.”
The lack of stimulation and social activities can take a toll on an individual who is isolated from routine interaction.
An increase in social isolation with the implementation of social distancing may cause people to behave erratically or poorly when in public. Humans are naturally social creatures, as these changes impact social aspects of society, there is a higher likelihood that people will react negatively. Known to most as “COVID-19 Syndrome.”
“The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.” According to a written statement by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
An already bad situation becomes worsened by people taking advantage or sometimes physically abusing or mistreating others. On April 9, the owners of Maggio’s in Vienna, Chris and Sherry Maggio were attacked by two woman in their 20s. The women came in, asked for forks and knives for some food purchased elsewhere. After the items were gladly given to them, they because abusive when told that due to the pandemic eating in the establishment was prohibited and then began throwing food and punching Chris and Sherry, shouting “I hope you get the Corona”.
Violent and abusive behavior is nothing recent as examples of this crude behavior could be witnessed within the pandemic’s early stages.
Comments like in the photo above show and promote poor behavior as more and more people begin to believe that the health of others is less important or their needs matter more than the needs of others.
It also does not help the people’s sense of frustration and despair, when some businesses began taking advantage of the bad situation by raising the prices of everyday cleaning supplies, hand-sanitizer, disinfectant spray, face masks and toilet paper.
photo by: Andrew Weichel, CTV News Vancouver
Some became so intent to be out and about that during Easter weekend, cars could be seen illegally parked along the roadway, at the entrance of national parks, that have been closed due to the pandemic. People could be seen walking along the road, into parks such as Great Falls National Park and Nottaway Park in Vienna, VA.
To address these behaviors and much public concern President Trump held meetings with State Governors and doctors to discuss plans, ideas, and precautionary proceedures to allow the nation to begin to slowly reopen.
On Thursday, April 16, President Trump stated he would not use his “absolute authority” to impose many businesses, restaurants, and other social activities to reopen. Trump told state governors that many aspects of daily life can begin to reopen as soon as May 1, but that he would leave the choice of reopening these areas to each state governors’ discretion according to reports by USA TODAY and The New York Times.
"We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time," President Trump said at the coronavirus task force press briefing on Thursday, April 16
With time, hopefully these strategies will help the public to become re-integrated with a more normal daily routine, effectively diminishing “COVID-19 Syndrome.” Information is constantly changing and adapting to our understanding of COVID-19 and what other nations are doing in response to the pandemic. Each population is different and limiting a society’s full activity affects each one differently. It is necessary to remain patient and understanding during these trying times.
The White House supplied guidelines each state must follow known as the “Opening Up America Again” strategy: Here is link breaking down the strategy provided by USA TODAY contributors, Courtney Subramanian and David Jackson:
By Alexander Fernandez