Quarantine Taboos We Should Keep for Good

Quarantine Taboos We Should Keep for Good

By Fiona Zublin


Here are some quarantine life changes we hope stick.

By Fiona Zublin

If we ever meet in this wild and precious life, I am not shaking your hand. Don’t take it personally — I’m never shaking anybody’s hand again. How do you feel about waving? I love waves, especially from 6 feet apart.

The general consensus seems to be that the coronavirus has permanently destroyed the handshake. Maybe. Maybe not. After all, humans have short memories. But there are a few things that the coronavirus has gotten rid of that we hope to see gone for good.

Parties You Never Wanted to Attend

That includes bachelorette parties and SantaCon and any event that’s expensive and not actually that fun. In a post-coronavirus world, groups of drunk people may be slightly less willing to get on a plane to drink in an exotic location. The EMT teams in small European cities and Nashville, Tennessee, will surely thank them.


We thought if David Foster Wallace couldn’t kill the cruise industry, nobody could. But people still wanted to walk around the deck of a relatively small boat for an entire vacation while watching wannabe Broadway stars singing standards for criminally low wages. It’s hard to see these bouncing back after all the news stories of people being trapped aboard such ships, just waiting to be infected one by one and eating questionable shrimp cocktails.

Boring Dates

Some OZY staffers advocate for the end of the in-person first date entirely — opting instead for the safer, less labor-intensive video chat as a first point of contact. But pheromones are real, so let’s go with boring dates. The lack of dinner-and-a-movie options has forced people to be creative — ordering from the same takeout place and watching the same movie in different houses if they live separately, or resorting to floor picnics, fake restaurants, scavenger hunts and hide-and-seek as dates with their live-in partners.


If you can do your job from home during the most anxious time in global memory, you can do it from home on a normal day when you’re allowed to go to a café or a park for a break during the day. If you’re lucky enough to still have a job, and to have one that doesn’t bring you into contact with others, your boss may have trouble getting you back in transit multiple hours a day when you could be catching up on sleep or continuing your quarantine morning yoga routine.

Voting in Person

It’s still unclear whether the 2020 election will be conducted largely by mail, but it absolutely should. While the largest study of mail-in voting recently concluded that it doesn’t favor either political party, it undeniably does boost turnout.

Gigantic Weddings

Do you really need 500 guests? No. You are not Princess Diana, so chill. Besides, out-of-towners can attend via Zoom — saving both you and them tons of money.

Not Knowing Your Neighbors

Sure, maybe you’re only doing it in case you all have to band together for survival. But isn’t it nice? You know their names. You can borrow a cup of flour from them — that is, whenever flour becomes available again. Besides, you just know one of them has useful skills like installing shelves or starting a fire using only a can of beans and a little hope.

Coughing on Stuff

We used to go outside without a mask and cough whenever and wherever we pleased. It was disgusting then too, but we didn’t realize it. Let’s wash our damn hands, and when sick, wear a damn mask. Even after we’ve eradicated the coronavirus, it’s still good advice (and stylish, in a bandit-like way).