Monday, June 22, 2020

Everyone's a Suspect

In the suburban country house and its immediate surroundings I only have minimal exposure to strangers and there are days when I forget that there's a pandemic at large. Whenever I am back in Vienna and on public transport in particular, there is this air of "everyone's a suspect" (for being a potential virus-transmitter) and it's weird. All of a sudden, the "innocent until proven guilty" rule does not seem to apply any more and you just have to expect the worst of everyone. When people bump into you again, queuing at the supermarket check-out line, not respecting your private space, you automatically take a step away, slightly worried. As somebody who tends not to assume the worst of anyone when first meeting them, it makes me both sad and uncomfortable and I wonder how long it will take until the close proximity of strangers won't make us (me!) get slightly panicky.


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