Staying Sanitized

How Communal Guilt Lends Itself to Staying Sanitized

If you know me — well you know I’ve been overly vigilant about staying sanitized and clean during the pandemic (much to the chagrin of my friends).

I’ve done a pretty amazing job distancing myself when necessary and isolating myself from others. And I admittedly wash my hands much more than is necessary.

Over the last few weeks though I’ve been isolating away from my home base. I stayed in an A-frame cabin in the woods last week and this week I am staying in a beach house.

I’ve been properly isolating in both properties and each property had been properly cleaned prior to my arrival — but I still feel guilty…

cabin photography

… and honestly I think it’s a communal guilt thats manifested as paranoia in varying degrees. I come from a culture where multi-generational homes are common and family is very important. This probably amplifies my guilt.

I want to protect my friends and family. I want to avoid being the contagion. I care about people I don’t even know (insofar as I don’t want to pass a contagion onto them).

Thats why it’s hard for me to not get angry at people who walk around maskless, dirty handed with an air of bravado. Their shtick floats around in the air with the virus:

” I’ve already had Covid — I cant get it again ”

” I don’t have it”

” If I get it, it wont be that bad “

I may be overly cautious and what some may call paranoid but at least I care…

But maybe my care is rooted in belonging. I cant even begin to understand the psyche of a person with no family ties, nothing to live for, sub-optimal job prospects or a mindset that is rooted in hyper individualism. It’s incongruous with the way I was raised and my culture… maybe thats why the United States is having such a tough go with COVID.

The culture here is rooted in not giving a fuck about one another. It’s manifested in:

  • Racism
  • Income inequality
  • Access to healthcare
  • Taxation

manhattan beach pier

Eastern culture vs. Western Culture : when it comes to a contagion it’s clear which culture prevails.

But hey what can ya do. We live in America “land of the free, and home of individual rights” where personal freedom trumps (pun intended) the most good for the most people.


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