The Quarantine Diaries

Did that lazy click-bait of a title lure you in? I couldn’t resist this one time, but it’s such a lazy title. I have been meaning to jot down some observations from the heart of one of the US coronavirus epicenters, but I’ve been too lazy and unmotivated. I need to snap out of it. For someone who likes documentary photography and writing, now is not the time for “yea, just wasn’t feeling it.”

Spring break. I saw a lot of coverage of the springbreakers in Florida. As expected, the optics and editing weren’t on their side. The people interviewed were giving the finger to the call for social distancing and staying at home.

I wish they were social distancing. I believe there’s a lot at stake, right now. And while the folks partying are lower risk, they’re partying in a state with a lot of vulnerable people, and they’ll be going home eventually. Their party decisions could affect airline workers and friends and families back home.

I think they made a bad call, but I’m also not going to vilify them. I was waiting for one of the 20 somethings to say, “Let me get this straight. You’ve been ignoring climate change for 30 years, you started two 20 year long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have killed hundreds of thousands, and you’ve done everything you could do dismantle Obama Care. But right now you’re lecturing me about being reckless with people and the planet? Maybe I could have benefitted from a few good role models.”

It’s dangerous being candid on the internet. Someone could carve up this post to make it sound like I’m supporting the springbreakers’ decisions. I’m not. I think a serious commitment to social distancing or lock downs is the only thing standing between us and hospital overload. But I think we should hold off on the righteous indignation. My generation grabbed the cheerleading pom poms to start a war in Iraq. We loved it. How many dead? Well, the number didn’t matter, because it was somewhere else.

I also don’t trust big media’s editing and decision-making. They chose a few shirtless people drunkenly defending their right to party. I wonder if they cut out a few people who explained that they’d booked their flights before things took a serious turn and were trying to figure out if it was best to stay in Florida a few more days before heading back. While they were deciding, they decided to visit the beach and have a beer.

Bonus pro tip: If you’re shirtless and have been drinking, never ever agree to talk to someone wielding a mic and a camera.