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What about the people who aren’t self-isolating?

Patrons of O'Lunney's Times Square Pub, most with the London Ambulance Service, clink glasses as they finish the last of their drinks before closing time in New York, Monday, March 16, 2020. The members of the London Ambulance Service travelled to New York to march in the now cancelled St. Patrick's Day Parade. Bars and restaurants will become takeout-only and businesses from movie theaters and casinos to gyms and beyond will be shuttered Monday night throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut because of the coronavirus, the states' governors said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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.

Continue reading the story at News@Northeastern.

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