With the arrival of a majority of the student body in the past couple weeks, we’ve seen this time and time again: flagrant, and sometimes even fragrant, violations of social distancing guidelines. The words of the iconic Dillinger’s poem The New Colossus: “Coming to State Street is a Privilege that can be taken away. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us,” have never rung louder or truer than they do now. Despite this, Dillinger’s words seem to be falling upon countless sets of deaf ears. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now; you must have, if you’ve been down State Street, or Court Street, Water Street, Henry Street, or even if you’ve walked along an avenue. Indeed, even on campus, there seem to be swarms of men standing only 5’11” away from the people around them, insisting that they are at the recommended distance of six feet.
Much like the OCCT’s insistence that COVID-19 is classified as a Foosball-Rules Virus, and thus people only need to worry about horizontal distancing between occupied seats, their claims are false. We all know these men are an inch short of where we want them to be. Look, I’m a man, too; I get it. We’re under a lot of societal pressure to be at least six feet away from people, and sometimes, it’s a lot to live up to. It’s normal to feel insecure about not being six feet away when everyone - yourself included - wants you to be. But in the end, if you keep lying about it, you’ll only hurt yourself, and literally everyone around you, so please, just back the fuck up one more inch. Really — no one cares that you’ve been lying about being six feet back the whole time. We promise we won’t think less of you. In fact, we’ll think more of you for recognizing that your carefully manufactured reality, where six feet for you is slightly shorter than it is for everyone else, is less important than the greatest public health crisis of our time. And, really, guys, it isn’t the end of the world - we can still keep the other inch we all lie about.