Tips for Maintaining Etiquette During and After Quarantine
Almost everyone in the country has been in isolation for at least a full month, and many have rounded the bases on their eighth week, stuck inside at home. Many among us have become accustomed to less-than-decorous behaviors after so much time away from the public eye, like wearing sweatpants at all hours of the day, neglecting personal hygiene, and sleeping at odd hours of the day. Now that businesses are reopening its time to reacquainting yourself with Maintaining Etiquette.
Currently, many states are making plans to open public spaces strategically within the next few weeks, meaning many aspiring gentlemen will need to regain the polite and gracious behavior they have abandoned during isolation. What’s more, because the risk of the virus spreading continues to loom, people might be wise to adopt even more strict public behaviors. Here are a few tips for post-quarantine etiquette to keep everyone healthy, happy, safe, and sane.
Wear a Mask
People don’t like the idea of masks for several reasons. Some say that masks are uncomfortable and stifling; others don’t like it when they conceal half their face. Still, others claim that masks are not good enough to keep people safe, which is entirely untrue. Masks help trap the droplets of water that come from people’s mouths and noses when they breathe and speak, so if a person is COVID-positive, they will not spread the disease to those with health-compromising conditions.
Until the looming threat of COVID-19 is removed with vaccinations or effective treatments, everyone should wear a mask in public. I found reasonably priced masks online to match my personal aesthetic, so I can contribute to successful style while keeping those around me safe.
Wash Your Hands
Admittedly, this is something that people should have been doing before COVID-19 — but alas, sometimes it takes a global pandemic to drive home messages about personal hygiene. Before leaving their home, men should wash their hands vigorously (for at least 20 seconds) to scrub away any COVID germs that may be lingering. In public, men can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to attack the virus that might be on their hands. However, washing with soap and water is preferable because it physically removes the virus instead of merely killing it.
I am quite particular with my hand soap because I don’t want the extra washing to dry out my skin, making it rough, itchy, and cracking. Some of the most nourishing soaps I have found include Aesop, Apotheke, Diptyque, and Public Goods.
Keep Your Distance
Even with a mask and clean hands, most people cannot be sure whether they are infected by the virus — let alone whether someone nearby is spreading the disease. Because it seems that COVID-19 can’t travel far from its host and survive, keeping a six-foot distance is an excellent way to stop the virus from traveling from one host to another.
Currently, a good many businesses have closed or revolutionized their services to ensure that people cannot remain within six feet of one another for very long. Even when I visit essential businesses, like my favorite weed shops near me, I respect the markings on the floor that designate where it is appropriate to walk and stand. Keeping one’s distance may be inconvenient, but it is courteous in a time when one can’t be sure who is carrying the disease and who is susceptible to severe complications.
Many men repeat the saying, “It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission,” but the true quote is actually, “It is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.” In truth, asking someone for permission is nerve-wracking; what if permission is denied, and a person is prevented from doing what they want? However, thanks to improved communication, we know that permission is more important than forgiveness because it prevents the potential for harm.
Men, in particular, tend to have difficulty asking for permission, but they must practice doing so, especially in the age of COVID. Without asking, it is impossible to know whether businesses are open, whether products and services are available, and whether someone feels comfortable doing something like standing nearby.
Patience is the foundation of maintaining etiquette, and it is especially important to be patient in these difficult and uncertain times. It is impossible to know when businesses will open to pre-lockdown levels, when the threat of the disease will decrease and when life will regain some semblance of normalcy. Until that occurs, everyone — men included — need to be patient with one another and themselves. It is natural to be frustrated by the current circumstances, but men need to be careful to let out that frustration without scaring or harming those around them. Sometimes, all we can do is wait.
Maintaining Etiquette is important because it gives society a system of behaviors that help everyone feel at ease. During this pandemic and for months after, the best men will continue to uphold strict etiquette and will be supremely rewarded for their efforts.