Remember when social distancing was the stuff of comedy, not intended to be real-life drama? Just take this scene near the start of 1974’s Young Frankenstein. In it, Dr. Frankenstein is bidding a tender farewell to his love, but she keeps making excuses for him not to touch any part of her body. As a result, he can’t hold her in any meaningful way. It gets to the point of absurdity when he is finally forced to simply rub elbows with her before departing. He can’t even throw her a kiss without her jumping out of its way. Oh no, not the dreaded thrown kiss!
This scene takes on a whole new light when seen from today’s perspective. As a doctor, he really should be more self-conscious about his duty to protect those around him. He might be an unwitting carrier of a disease, so it’s dangerous for him to be so close to the woman he loves. She’s cringing at his touch not because she’s repulsed by him but because she’s scared of getting sick. Kissing his fingers and recklessly tossing those germs out, he probably put as many germs into the air as if he had sneezed at her. It’s best to keep a safe distance from each other. In fact, he’s better off traveling to a different country and staying as far away from her as humanly possible.
Obviously, I’m joking about all of this. But some people do take this absurd premise seriously and they even take it to extremes I didn’t think possible. Obviously, a healthy person blowing a kiss or simply breathing freely around others shouldn’t be an issue. I hope reasonableness will prevail in 2021 and beyond, but I won’t hold my breath.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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