How long will people stay quarantined? I’m not talking about how long the restrictions will be in place. That could be indefinitely. I mean how long will people actually be able to tolerate this before they start feeling like the treatment is worse than the disease?
This is an easy scenario to imagine. Myself, being a member of the young Financially Independent group of people, see this with everyone who is not. Most people can’t imagine not working. What would they do with their time? They’re so used to being busy, suddenly giving them unlimited free time would be cruel. Now we’re in the perverse scenario where many people are both not working and also unable to do social outings. We get people who haven’t had a quiet day to think in years suddenly having weeks of them.
It’s not surprising Twitter has been active lately. You should never confuse Twitter for reality since it is typically filled with the most broken of people, however there are patterns I find repeating that might give a hint of our current times.
The most perturbing trend I see is people talking about their depression and anxiety. I can see how this is a difficult time. People are losing their jobs, maybe losing their homes, all while facing a disease that could take their lives. And they have nothing to do but stay at home and dwell on these unpleasant facts.
People are also talking about the need to stay home. How we are being heroes by isolating ourselves. The entire Social Justice Crusade has been redirected into telling people to stay at home. I give it two more weeks.
The problem is that there is no consequence for breaking isolation, and after being in it for so long, going out and talking to people is going to feel so good. The reward center in our brains will make that one time break of quarantine a regular event, because that’s how human brains work. And since we’re not in an oppressive dictatorship, who will stop us? People will still claim to be quarantining themselves, but will frequent modern day Speakeasies, secret non-public gatherings of people.
I’m not saying this is a good thing. Since our government botched testing, mass quarantining is the only way to prevent Covid19 from spreading and crushing the healthcare system. This is just what’s going to happen so we should prepare for it. Or, more likely, not prepare for it.
Just like I can tell who is able to become Financially Independent, I can see that the majority of people simply will not be able to isolate themselves from other people for any significant length of time. This is similar to Prohibition, the world would be a better place without alcohol and drunks, but it isn’t going to happen. As an aside, there probably will be more alcoholics after this all. A lot of people have already started drinking alone at home, that’s a difficult habit to stop.
Does this mean we should give up on quarantining? No. Even a slight decrease in people going out can reduce the transmission spread of the Corona Virus. But for people who think it’s going to stay this way for months or years until there is a vaccine? It won’t. The treatment is worse than the disease. People are already falling apart.