Lockdown bringing out the denunciators?
All over the world curfews and business closures are posing a challenge for society. Many people are showing solidarity with others in new ways: doing shopping for people they didn't know before and offering words of encouragement. At the same time there is growing distrust of those who - actually or allegedly - break the rules.
The fine ladies and gentlemen have it easy
Those who are quick to condemn the less privileged for their behaviour are showing how little they know about how the socially disadvantaged really live:
“It's easy for the fine ladies and gentlemen in their houses on the city outskirts or their 100-square-metre top floor apartments in Vienna to rant about the dumb riffraff who refuse to stay at home despite the security measures. ... How can that family of six living in a tiny apartment dare to go out to the park? How can that woman who is locked up at home with her aggressive husband think of going outside? ... These are hard times for all of us right now, but for some of us they are especially hard. You should consider this before you post a photo of a stranger in the park with the hashtag staythefuckhome on Instagram and then go back to your Netflix marathon.”
Busybodies can save lives
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung sees a positive side to the resurgence of the informants and voluntary policemen:
“When people denouce the denunciators they forget that such busybodies play an important role. It's easy to get on your high horse against all the bored know-it-alls who are all too ready to remind us when to be quiet, where not to ride our bikes or where a 'no entry' sign applies. But secretly we're are often glad they're there – ready to do the dirty work and to take the ridicule and insults while we indulge in our oh so magnanimous laxity. Someone has to tell the idiots on the motorway to make way for the ambulance. Or put the fools who clog up the emergency wards with their minor aches and pains in their place. The boundary between a busybody mentality and civil courage is often fluid, and right now it can even save lives.”