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What about the people who aren’t self-isolating?
Over the weekend, people in Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Boston, and elsewhere in the United States headed to restaurants and bars—flouting instructions to stay at home and avoid large groups in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19—to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Federal recommendations from the Trump administration on Monday to avoid such establishments and groups of more than 10 people have brought public life to something of a standstill, but why were earlier warnings from public health officials to avoid large groups and self-isolate not enough?
While there are likely many reasons, it might be fair to blame a sense of “rugged individualism” baked into the culture of the U.S., says Tiffany Joseph, associate professor of sociology and international affairs at Northeastern.