If you see me, please do me a favor and step aside.
I’ll do the same for you.
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It will feel rude.
But for us to properly social distance ourselves as we’ve been advised, we need at least six feet between you and me. We also need to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 and forgo social calls among other things.
Some of you are on point. You do what you’re supposed to as far as protecting yourselves from the coronavirus.
We should know better by now. We’ve been warned.
Yet we still get way too close to each other.
The coronavirus has infected every zip code in Philadelphia and the national death toll from COVID-19 increases daily.
Yet, last week I watched 6ABC news footage showing grown men participating in pickup basketball games and playing chess at Clark Park. During the few times I made it to a nearby park last week for exercise, I watched in amazement as young people played games or walked in large groups.
Speak up about it at your own risk. A California woman was struck, spit on and intentionally coughed on all because she asked a teenager not to run so close to her.
Closer to home, Melissa Robbins, a local political consultant who asked a Reading Terminal Market worker to kindly keep his distance, was told, “It’s not that serious.”
That’s really stupid.
A Brewerytown woman shared photos with me of a party that took place on her block late Friday. The front porch was literally packed, mostly with young people reportedly celebrating a birthday as if there wasn’t a pandemic taking place around them.
“They were coming up in Ubers and Lyfts and getting out three and four at a time. It was ridiculous," she said. "These kids think they are invincible.”
Then there’s a widely shared photo reportedly taken outside a local seafood takeout showing a large crowd. (I’m not including it because I was unable to independently verify the date it was taken.)
“People are literally shoulder to shoulder trying to get to that window to order food,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke told me. “We have to figure out a way to reach those people in a way that has them practice the recommendations and not simply hear our voice and ignore it."
Council is working on an aggressive social media strategy to try to reach those who won’t get the message about social distancing through traditional methods.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Mercer County issued two disorderly person citations to a 54-year-old Ewing man after he allegedly hosted a party Friday evening. His one-bedroom apartment reportedly was packed with nearly 50 people, including a deejay.
Elsewhere, Ocean City officials closed the boardwalk to keep the crowds down. Sea Isle City has followed suit, and other Shore towns will no doubt follow, especially as the weather warms up.
It doesn’t help that Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, has, stupidly, partly reopened. Now students with flu-like symptoms are self-isolating or seeking treatment.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump backtracked on his original goal of ending social distancing by Easter, April 12. His new date is April 30, but it’s doubtful even that might be far enough out.
Trump and his advisers need to do better. I cringe when I see them sharing a microphone.
Some of us have throttled back admirably. It’s time for the rest of us to catch up.
So, if you see me coming, please step aside and let me pass.