Problems with social distancing

  • 13 April 2020
  • NormanL

Social distancing is supposed to be a relatively easy tool for hindering the spread of the coronavirus. For some people, however, social distancing has brought their social frustrations (and worse) to the surface.

There's the story of a doctor who allegedly attacked two girls for not practicing what he believed was adequate social distancing. Or the terrible story of a elderly woman who died after what's been called a "social distancing-related assault."

While these are ust two stories in a sea of virus coverage, they are particularly disturbing parts of a larger narrative called "quarantine shaming," where some people aggressively police the actions of others -- all in the name of keeping everyone safe.

Even some law enforcement officials have difficulty keeping the shaming -- or in this case, the handcuffs -- away from the discussion:

Matt Mooney feels Brighton police owe him a huge apology. The 33-year-old says he was handcuffed at Donelson Park in front of his 6-year-old daughter Sunday afternoon after police told him he violated the state’s social distancing guidelines. 

Mooney told the FOX31 Problem Solvers he refused to provide his identification to three police officers because he was confident he wasn’t doing anything unlawful by playing tee-ball with his wife and daughter at the park.

“She's like, ‘Daddy, I don't want you to get arrested.' At this point I'm thinking, 'There's no way they're going to arrest me, this is insane.' I'm telling her, ‘Don't worry, Daddy's not going to get arrested. I've done nothing wrong. Don't worry about it,’ and then they arrest me."

Former Brighton City Councilman Kirby Wallin recorded much of the incident on his cellphone, where you can hear his voice narrate the scene.

“He’s being taken by the Brighton police for playing softball with his daughter in an empty park," Wallin said.

In an interview with the Problem Solvers, Wallin said, “I find it hard to believe with all the things going on in our communities, the only way to resolve a situation like this was to handcuff a father in front of his daughter.”

The Department later issued an apology for something that should never have happened.