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Everyone is doing social distancing wrong except me

Polls show that everyone thinks they’re doing social distancing right, and everyone else is doing it wrong. Here’s why that’s impossible.

IllustrationRyan Huddle

Listen to this nonsense.

In a poll last week, 69.4 percent of Massachusetts residents alleged that they were being “very strict” about social distancing. Yet those same people said that just 12.4 percent of their fellow residents were doing the same.

Well that’s just ridiculous. It’s impossible that both of those claims are true, and I happen to know for a fact that neither of them is.

That’s because I’m the only one doing this right.

For example, I was in the packie the other day and the guy in front of me was spending like half his Trump check playing Megabucks, dictating the numbers to the clerk one by one. At one point in this endless ordeal, he actually pulled his mask down to repeat a number because the clerk wasn’t sure if he said foddy-fooha or foddy-five.


This was worth risking his life and my life and the clerk’s life? This was “essential”? If he had just stayed home like he had been told, I could have gotten my scratch tickets and a couple nips and been out of there in two minutes, as the CDC intended.

Everywhere I look, I see empty gestures and half-measures from people trying to get credit for social distancing without actually doing anything that will effectively stop the spread of the virus. They’re treating the mask ordinance like it’s a high school dress code and doing just enough to keep from getting dragged to the principal’s office.

The masks are not just there to protect you from public scorn, people. It’s not a Halloween costume. You don’t just lift it up to eat a Kit-Kat and then pull it back down when you get to the next house. You’re getting cooties all over yourself with all the up and down and off and on.


So instead, do what I did — I sewed a zipper into the front. You’re welcome.

IllustrationAlly Rzesa

Not only can I eat without taking the mask off, but when I’m waiting in an endless line outside the ice cream parlor, I can smoke a joint without putting anyone in danger. (It’s legal, so you can save me the hate mail.)

And what is everyone doing jamming the ice cream parlors anyway? It’s been like 30 degrees every day this spring. I’m only going because I promised my kids we could go as a reward when I finished their homework.

I’m not one to brag, but I can bang out my first-grader’s assignments in like two minutes. I’m so tired of listening to all these parents whine about how time-consuming it is to home school their kids and help them with reports. Do these people not know how to copy and paste from Wikipedia? CTRL + C. CTRL + V. Ice cream.

The biggest challenge of being stuck at home all day with my kids is getting them to stay 6 feet away from me. But as luck would have it, I just so happen to be 5’ 11.” So when they get too close, I lie down on the floor and kick them. We count it as their math homework.

And why is no one wearing gloves? I put on a pair of Franklin batting gloves every morning, and I don’t take them off until I go to bed at night. That way I can eat and open my mail and shake hands and never have to worry about my hands getting dirty. I haven’t washed them in months. People keep complaining about a shortage of hand sanitizer. Um, is there a shortage of batting gloves? Think, people. Think.


The worst are these fitness types who keep talking about how much they miss their gyms. Like that’s the only place you can exercise. Every day, I drive past the closed parks and beaches and hiking trails and go to the Jordan’s Furniture parking lot to run laps. It’s important to have some “me time” in all this.

I’ve had it all to myself, but the other day when I showed up there was another guy there. And kudos to me: I didn’t even let it bother me.

The temperature had risen to 37 degrees; the sun was clearly visible behind the rain clouds; and I could feel my mood brightening as I put in my earbuds and started a Joe Rogan podcast about how to cure the coronavirus with meditation and elk meat.

I was just finishing my deep knee bends and preparing to start running when the guy came by me and made eye contact. I don’t know what the dude’s problem was, but he had clearly missed the memo that this thing spreads through contact.

He must have been from Mars or the Midwest or something, because this is an area of social distancing that the people of Massachusetts have been “very strict” about for years.


I chased him down and got right in his face to let him know that was not allowed. We have to police each other if we’re going to get through this. We’re all in this together, people.

Billy Baker can be reached at Follow him on Instagram @billy_baker.