We are advised to stay at least six feet away from others, wear masks in public, and wash our hands again and again.
These are currently the only moves we have to contain the deadly coronavirus. Until there is a vaccine or an effective treatment, we need to abide by the new rules to protect ourselves and others from infection. However, some people ignore the rules.
Experts say you have the right to speak up against violators to protect yourself and others.
"All we've got is behavior," says Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine. "And there is evidence that the behavior works, if we're diligent about it."
Caplan tells Time that confronting non-compliant people could directly and indirectly save lives, so speaking up is crucial. "We shouldn't be obnoxious, we shouldn't get nasty," he says. "But in this day and age, I think you can speak up."
Experts recommend using tactics that involve "it's not you, it's me," according to Time. For example, if someone is standing too close, don't yell, "Move back!" Instead, say that anyone — including you — could be carrying the virus so it's best to stay six feet apart.
States are getting tough on people who disregard social distancing orders. According to another article in Time, Mayor Derek Kawakami of Kauai, Hawaii, arrested a Florida man who tried to break quarantine laws and called him a "covidiot." Michigan is issuing $1,000 fines for violations of social distancing rules.
According to Psychology Today, some people are defying experts' advice on distancing and other preventative measures to contain COVID-19 because they are misinformed about the severity of the disease and its deadly consequences. Others are entrenched in the belief of "I'm entitled to do what I want" and seem to argue it's un-American to social distance.
Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., in Psychology Today asks those who question the rules to really examine the evidence.
"Is it worth updating your belief and changing your behavior, based on a fuller awareness of the situation?" he asks.
Stuart Finder, director of the Center of Healthcare Ethics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, tells Time, "you want to find ways that reinforce that 'we're in this together,' versus 'You're not doing what I want you to do.'"
Caplan adds that in times of pandemic, the old rules don't apply, and some are slow to adapt to the new ones. Social distancing and personal hygiene must be taken seriously in order to protect our police forces, ambulance drivers, healthcare workers, and those serving us at grocery stores — as well as ourselves.
"If you want to contribute in the pandemic, it's not just protect yourself, it's protect others. It's the best gift you can give to those who really have to take risks," he tells TIME.
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