Things are getting positively weird in 2020, as America continues to contract into a society of singular persons, all in a bubble unto themselves.
Sure, the easy culprit here is COVID-19, but, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve been doing this for quite a while. The internet has allowed us to substitute screen time for human interaction, and an increasing number of human beings are satisfied alone.
That’s not to say that COVID-19 didn’t exacerbate the issue, it certainly did, but there was a little bit of isolationist fuel already in the fire.
Now that numbers of cases are back on the rise, some states are even codifying this social distancing.
The state of New York announced Wednesday it will begin requiring travelers from eight states where the number of coronavirus cases is surging to quarantine for 14 days. The new measure singles out visitors and New York residents arriving from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut are suggesting a quarantine for people who are arriving from the hard-hit states, but acknowledged they do not have an enforcement mechanism to compel compliance. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a failure to quarantine is punishable by fines that could run into the thousands of dollars.
The move comes as the United States recorded its highest daily total of new coronavirus cases with 36,880 new cases nationwide Wednesday. Cases of the virus are now rising in 20 states; four states on New York’s quarantine list recorded their single-day highs in new cases: Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. The New York quarantine requirement applies to states that are recording positive coronavirus tests at a rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, either in a single day or over a seven-day rolling average. New York is not the only state to suggest travelers quarantine, but most have so far not singled out certain states for extra screening; only several states—Maine, Rhode Island, and Hawaii—have made quarantining mandatory upon arrival from out of state.
This sort of cautious profiling has been prolific as of late, with Kansas also restricting travel from at least 8 states, induing neighboring Arkansas.