On The Not Entirely Unforeseen Consequences Of Quarantine

It is strange but not entirely surprising that I should find a fair amount of articles that relate to some of the effects of quarantining and how they are not always positive.  In fact, I would like to comment on some of the shared connections and implications from three articles that I saw relating to the effects of the Coronavirus, and in order to avoid bringing shame upon anyone who would not want to be critiqued by an internet troll such as myself, I will avoid sharing the articles since they are well worth reading without having my own particular perspective skewing how one would think of them.  Intriguingly enough, all of them look at negative externalities of the quarantine from very different perspectives, showing us that not leaving home can have some dangerous consequences for people and relationships.

The governor of Florida recently stirred up some controversy when he refused to take in those who were on a cruise ship that has become filled with Coronavirus patients.  Now, a lot of people are angry about it and threatening to never visit Florida again.  Some people think that it is a right when one has engaged in risky travel and paid the price for it by becoming sick to land in a place full of elderly and vulnerable populations before going home after trying to get better.  I am curious to think how the population of Florida itself will respond to the governor’s unwillingness to accept non-Floridians from the ship into the state.  It is also worth seeing whether the mad tourists forget that they are mad when it is time to travel for cheap early bird specials once again in the fall.  It is quite possible that people in the state will support a governor and cheer him on for not wanting to contaminate his population with sick outsiders.  There is a tendency for people in the face of crises to engage in beggar thy neighbor policies and that is certainly happening at present.

What prompted my thoughts on this subject in the first place was a somewhat melancholy article I saw from one of the community service efforts that I engage in, albeit remotely during these times.  The article discussed how children are more at risk with the quarantine than would be the case normally.  It is not difficult to see how this would happen.  For one, lamentably, children are most at risk from their family than anyone else when it comes to abuse and neglect.  We can always be hurt easiest by those who are closest to us, and that is certainly true for children.  The circumstances of the quarantine, with increased drinking and likely drug use as a way of coping with the loss of work for many people and the loss of alternative means of amusing oneself away from the home would tend to indicate a high degree of risk for children who, because they are forced to stay at home, lack the ordinary ways that children are able to stay away from other family members at least some of the time.  It would be great if staying home was a benefit for children, in learning via homeschooling and distance learning, and reading on one’s own, but this is not always the case and dysfunctional families tend to be even more dangerous when everyone is forced to be around each other for a considerable length of time.

Indeed, this is the lead-in of sorts that makes sense for the third article I read, where it has been seen that in China the forced quarantining there has led to an increase in the divorce rate.  While it may be hoped that people would enjoy spending time with each other, it is quite possible that in cities where there is a high degree of fondness in people living their own lives and being busy with work and socializing and not spending time around someone they may not know or like all that much, that forced spending time around each other in an atmosphere of fear and panic probably does not bring out the best in people.  While it is always preferable if people in the same household are able to unite in a sense of good humor and focusing on common enemies and enjoyment, this is not always the case, and sometimes, lamentably, being around others more only reminds us of why we do not like or want to be around them at all, which is a great shame.  It is all the more reason that one should ponder who one wants to spend time with when one has to spend time with them.  Such considerations would be worth pondering, though it is a bit too late when the quarantine comes.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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