Monday, December 14, 2020

Driving conventions, the stories we tell ourselves, and the pandemic

Driving is full of conventions that keep everyone safe on the road: from turn signals to stop signs, from lane markings to what side of the road we drive on, from roundabouts to "the red light means stop, the green light means go". As that stoplight verse shows, we begin learning these rules long before we take driving lessons; by the time we're old enough for them, they're part of the stories we tell ourselves all the time. Pandemic-control measures are also for public safety, but they are all new, and like so much about the pandemic, they break the continuity of our stories, which makes it hard to accept them. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 14 December)

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