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Old 05-18-2020, 08:59 AM
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How are you handling social distancing violations from strangers?


This weekend, my wife dog and I arrived at a park Early in the morning. There was only one other group, a woman with her son and dog. Their dog was off leash but she had a leash in hand. No one was wearing a mask, we had them in the car, but because the park was empty, we didnít put them on.

We waited for the other dog walkers to get pretty far away, put our dog on a leash and started walking in the opposite direction. Now there is about one city block distance between the two groups. The woman called out ďis your dog friendly?Ē

I said no and kept walking, this isnít exactly true, but I was sending out the signal that Iím not interested in socializing. But she and her unleashed dog keep coming, I turn around and sheís right there and her dog is jumping on my dog. Her son is hanging back like a normal person, but she calls him over. I was so stunned, I wasnít able to really respond. After a couple of minutes, they wandered off. Had I had my coffee, I probably would have been able to respond better. How do you all handle these kinds of siuTions?
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:01 AM
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Not well. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut and I have become a scold. Cover your damn nose and mouth and stay 6 feet away.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:05 AM
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As far as the dog goes, perhaps you could tie a yellow ribbon to the leash.

https://positively.com/contributors/...d-idea-or-not/

Has anybody come out yet with a "Stay 6 feet away" cap that people could buy? Half the country might buy one.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:51 AM
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Not well. I canít seem to keep my mouth shut and I have become a scold. Cover your damn nose and mouth and stay 6 feet away.
Heh, I've become the same way. When my gf was last in the grocery store, I was sitting in the car, waiting. A woman approached my vehicle. She had a mask in her hand (a lot of good that'll do ya) and she did the "roll your window down" pantomime.

I just flat out said, loud enough for her to hear, "NO". She then asked (shouting) if they had masks in the store. I yelled back that I didn't know. She left.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:15 AM
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I almost yelled at her and I saw her kid about 30 feet behind her looking embarrassed. I don't really want to make a stranger look like crap in front of her kid, but I also don't want her to get me or my wife sick.

Even without the pandemic, if someone asks "is your dog friendly?" and they say no, the proper response is to put your dog on a leash and keep moving. My dog gets along with some dogs and snaps at others. She seemed exactly like the kind of person who would do something stupid and blame the other person when her dog got bit.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:27 AM
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Even without the pandemic, if someone asks "is your dog friendly?" and they say no, the proper response is to put your dog on a leash and keep moving.
Last summer I was at the marina, taking our three dogs, on leash, to our boat. A woman with three kids yelled over, "hey, do your dogs like kids?" I replied, "No", because one of them is older and has a short fuse. She glared at me, really pissed off. No idea why.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:35 AM
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Last summer I was at the marina, taking our three dogs, on leash, to our boat. A woman with three kids yelled over, "hey, do your dogs like kids?" I replied, "No", because one of them is older and has a short fuse. She glared at me, really pissed off. No idea why.
Itís your job to stop what your doing and entertain her family.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:05 AM
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I'm a little surprised you were not more aware of the situation as it developed, and had not thought out how you might respond.

I've had dogs all my adult life. We walk our dogs very often in our community and on our travels. We pretty much expect every dog we encounter (and their owners) to be clueless and poorly behaved. My last dog had no problem ignoring other dogs, but disliked them getting in his face. So we had 11 years of "social distancing" our dog from others, and we encountered the entire imaginable range of dogs/owners - including poorly behaved/uncontrolled dogs lunging at and attacking us and our dogs. Come to think of it, neither of our previous 2 dogs were the overly playful sort as far as other dogs were concerned. They were more focussed on their owners. I often got a kick out of walking my old dogs off leash, when they would totally ignore some dog that was barking and lunging away on the other side of the street. Always got a kick out of it when the other owner would say something suggesting MY dog was doing something wrong!

And we are in the general habit of declining to have strangers' kids pet our dogs. We're just generally not interested in having our dog entertain someone else's kids. No matter how well-behaved my dog, I NEVER trust them thoroughly, and I SURE don't trust a kid I don't know.

Now, we have a puppy. And with the limitations imposed by this virus limiting "play dates", we've been a little more tolerant of dog interaction on walks. Not interested in kids, b/c the pup still gets excited and could knock down or scratch a kid in his exuberance. But if I have my dog on a 6' leash, and the other dog is on a leash, that ensures that the owners are >6' apart.

I imagine this comes off as a little critical of you, and I apologize. But if I see an off leash dog, you'd better be sure that I do not lose awareness of where the dog is, and if it is approaching us, I have no qualms against calling out loudly for the other person to "Please control your dog. We are not interested." Sometimes you have to repeat it, in raised tones. People are clueless idiots. That is just my default, so I never get surprised as you describe. I guess it would be more challenging if you sometimes allow your dog to play, and other times don't.

Whenever a dog is approaching me and not sufficiently controlled, a part of me is always mentally prepared to kick the shit out of the dog should it cause problems. No, not if it just approaches and sniffs and play bows. But if an uncontrolled dog initiates a fight, I'll do what it takes to stop it. I love dogs, I'm very comfortable around them, and I'm very good at reading them. But I've got no qualms against protecting me and mine from idiots and their poorly behaved dogs.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:22 AM
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I had told the owner that my dog was not friendly, not exactly true, and started walking in the opposite direction. We were in the parking area, they were up on a hill easily a city block away. This is a very large park with a lake and we were the only two people on the ground. There were some anglers out on the water in boats. She had to shout to ask her question The dog didn’t run up to us, the owner was there before their dog. The dog was very submissive and crawled up on its belly, my dog was more interested in the tennis ball I was carrying.Like I said, it was very early, we had picked the time to beat the crowds. Our backs were turned as we walked away and she must have speed walked to catch up. It’s one of those moments when you realize that you are encountering a clueless loon.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:53 PM
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...we had picked the time to beat the crowds. Our backs were turned as we walked away and she must have speed walked to catch up. Itís one of those moments when you realize that you are encountering a clueless loon.
Yeah, what a loon. Can really throw you, when you go out of your way to minimize the possibility of such encounters, yet they seek you out.

All I can suggest is ingraining a couple of responses, "Please control your dog. My dog is not interested in playing." Even now, tho it comes naturally to me after years of practice, I always feel like I sound like a bit of a crank saying it, or as tho my dog is vicious.

You mention the tennis ball. Even w/ friendly other dogs, I've had issues when throwing a ball for my dogs. If another dog comes up, no matter how friendly/submissive, I've had instances where my dog growls/barks, acting as tho the other dog wants to steal the ball. The worst is when someone is at a distance, and they just let their dog run up to me and my dog where we are minding our own business enabling his ball addiction. The master is in no position to control their dog, so I'm forced to seize my dog and hold him from the other dog.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:27 PM
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I'm polite but not at all afraid to speak my mind. People still want to pet my dog which under normal circumstances I would welcome the interaction. I respond by telling them it's not safe what with Covid and all.
They are understanding and respectful.
As far as human interaction, I again politely remind them to help me maintain 6' distance. Blatant disregard, however, will turn me into an instant asshole. I regret nothing.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2020, 03:17 PM
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What you have here to begin with is a violatnion of dog etiquette, which is, once someone has asked if your dog is friendly and you have said no, they should keep their distance.

I cannot count the times someone has said, "Oh, is your dog friendly? MINE is..." as they walk toward me. And I have to back up, step off the path, trying to keep myself between their dog (or their kid, who is not on a leash but ought to be) and my dog. Who was in fact friendly enough when off leash and quite reactive, and unpredictably so, when leashed.

It boggles my mind how many people see me doing this--backing off, shortening my dog's leash, dancing around so I'm between my dog and theirs--who just do not get it. In these times it's even more surprising. I handled those situations by saying "He's not friendly, he will attack your dog, please back off" but after ignoring all my nonverbal signals and then verbal directions some of these idiots JUST KEPT COMING. "Oh my dog is friendly he loves meeting other dogs." Idiots.

I actually just kinda wanted to let my dog go ahead and attack (or not, probably not--but possibly) but I also didn't want him to have to be put down due to being a dangerous dog. Instead I just kept backing off. If they had a kid with them I found that throwing in some really vile language tended to get them going the other way.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:48 PM
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When people approach me I've been backing up with my hand upraised in the "stop" posture and saying, "Please stand back at least 6 feet. I have lousy lung function and this virus will kill me" (which is likely true). Everyone has backed off but a few (neighbor, carpenter) have then moved in again, and I've had to say it again, prefaced by "Hey, I don't want to be rude, but...."

I've had several strangers knock on the door soliciting business. I say through the window that I won't be opening the door. The not so smart ones need to be walked through difficult actions such as "leave your flyer on the porch." As to the pair of LDS men who showed up at dinnertime and wouldn't back up and kept standing there even after I said no and asked them to leave, it required me turning off the porch and hall lights. After people have left, we disinfect the doorknob and doorbell or knocker.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:00 PM
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I have to say, at the moment I find this kind of thing particularly egregious. We certainly know that dogs can catch COVID-19, and although there's no evidence about whether dog-dog and dog-owner is a significant path of transmission, it's surely a risk. I think now more than ever people should respect anyone who wants to maintain distance between their dog and other dogs.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:20 PM
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When people approach me I've been backing up with my hand upraised in the "stop" posture and saying, "Please stand back at least 6 feet. I have lousy lung function and this virus will kill me" (which is likely true). Everyone has backed off but a few (neighbor, carpenter) have then moved in again, and I've had to say it again, prefaced by "Hey, I don't want to be rude, but...."

I've had several strangers knock on the door soliciting business. I say through the window that I won't be opening the door. The not so smart ones need to be walked through difficult actions such as "leave your flyer on the porch." As to the pair of LDS men who showed up at dinnertime and wouldn't back up and kept standing there even after I said no and asked them to leave, it required me turning off the porch and hall lights. After people have left, we disinfect the doorknob and doorbell or knocker.
I'd have a bit of difficulty not opening the door and then coughing and sneezing all over them.

We have protests around here these days against the lockdown. And not a single one of the protesters is socially distancing themselves or wearing a mask.

I think that we could probably reopen quite a bit, if we thought that people would be responsible about it, but these people demonstrate that they cannot be.

You want to show off that we are responsible enough to take the safety of ourselves and our fellow residents in our own hands, then demonstrate some responsibility.


(But, apparently, wearing a mask in public is submitting to authority)
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:20 PM
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I think that we could probably reopen quite a bit, if we thought that people would be responsible about it, but these people demonstrate that they cannot be.

You want to show off that we are responsible enough to take the safety of ourselves and our fellow residents in our own hands, then demonstrate some responsibility.


(But, apparently, wearing a mask in public is submitting to authority)
Yeah, same here. Kind of surprising, in my relatively affluent NYC neighborhood, populated by highly-educated professionals.

But everyone has decided that mask-wearing, and social distancing, are over. They're not bothering at all (well, not everyone, but perhaps 50% of the people out there).

Bars and restaurants that cater to a younger crowd (20- and 30-somethings) are opening, only semi-clandestinely.

The runners were first. They really never started masking or distancing (in the case of runners, I'd say slightly more than half) and could get as aggressive as a MAGA-hat-wearing protester on the steps of the state capitol, carryinig an AR-15. I mean like threatening old ladies and shit like that.

But anyway, at least in some parts of NYC, people have collectively decided that they're done.

I expect a second wave of infections and deaths pretty soon.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:59 PM
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When people approach me I've been backing up with my hand upraised in the "stop" posture and saying, "Please stand back at least 6 feet. I have lousy lung function and this virus will kill me" (which is likely true). Everyone has backed off but a few (neighbor, carpenter) have then moved in again, and I've had to say it again, prefaced by "Hey, I don't want to be rude, but...."

I've had several strangers knock on the door soliciting business. I say through the window that I won't be opening the door. The not so smart ones need to be walked through difficult actions such as "leave your flyer on the porch." As to the pair of LDS men who showed up at dinnertime and wouldn't back up and kept standing there even after I said no and asked them to leave, it required me turning off the porch and hall lights. After people have left, we disinfect the doorknob and doorbell or knocker.

Are you sure they were LDS? Last I heard, the LDS missionaries were doing their thing via telephone/Internet/etc., not door to door. Anyway, pre-pandemic, their guidelines are to leave when informed the residents are not interested.

Who's still passing flyers out door-to-door?
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:46 PM
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1. Yes, two men in their 20s with white shirts, black pants, little backpacks, LDS name badges.

2. Gutter cleaners, roof moss abaters, driveway sealers, brush pile haulers, appliance repair people, general repair/handypersons, roofers, carpet steamers, &c.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:45 PM
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You can deflect almost any situation by throwing in some positives. "I'd love to talk to you, but six feet away! Social distancing! My wife is very vulnerable and I don't want to expose her."

"Yeah, this whole thing is crazy isn't it? I hope to see you back here when this is all over so our dogs can play. You and your family please stay safe!"

The other day I was in a convenience store and there are the six foot lines taped off and three nurses of all people were congregated together and standing right behind me. I told them that they should probably back up for their own safety as my wife works in a high risk job and I don't want to be an unknown carrier and pass the virus onto them. They all hopped back as if a firecracker exploded at their feet.

Of course, these are all bullshit courtesies and some people hate doing that, but it does get your point across and the other person doesn't feel like shit and you don't go home thinking that you might have overreacted.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:58 AM
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n/m

Last edited by pullin; 05-19-2020 at 04:59 AM.
  #21  
Old 05-19-2020, 05:20 AM
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The more I think about that encounter, the angrier I get. Anyone so stupid as to ignore such obvious social clues to keep your distance during a pandemic is not smart enough to have been taking reasonable precautions. I let her put my family at risk because I was just stunned by her obliviousness. I wonder if she is one of those Fox News conspiracy theorists who thinks itís all a hoax.

Last edited by madmonk28; 05-19-2020 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:14 AM
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Of course, these are all bullshit courtesies and some people hate doing that, but it does get your point across and the other person doesn't feel like shit and you don't go home thinking that you might have overreacted.
At work I've been past bullshit courtesies for awhile now. If someone approaches me beyond the line, I had my hand up and say, "move back". Every few days I have someone who needs told "move back" repeatedly, or even argues the point. To those exceptional individuals I say, "if you won't stay back you'll have to get the fuck out".
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:35 AM
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At work I've been past bullshit courtesies for awhile now. If someone approaches me beyond the line, I had my hand up and say, "move back". Every few days I have someone who needs told "move back" repeatedly, or even argues the point. To those exceptional individuals I say, "if you won't stay back you'll have to get the fuck out".
I like you dude. This is one of the few strangers I have had or interact with. We both are lucky that we can work from home, we go grocery shopping every two weeks very early in the morning and the people there at that time are taking things seriously, and on walks everyone has been doing their best at social distancing. This woman was the first person I’ve encountered to just walk up to a stranger for no damn reason. It’s like she woke up from a coma, didn’t check the news and headed to the park.

Last edited by madmonk28; 05-19-2020 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:25 AM
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This woman was the first person Iíve encountered to just walk up to a stranger for no damn reason.
There are people out there purposely doing things because they disagree with the whole pandemic thing.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:27 AM
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The more I think about that encounter, the angrier I get. ...
Don't overreact, man. You had one encounter w/ an idiot. A brief interaction outside w/ an asymptomatic individual bears the remotest of risks. Seriously - how close was she to you for how long?

She was stupid - but so were you. What is it that paralyzed you and prevented you from backing off?

Instead of being pissed, try being happy that it alerted you to the ubiquity of morons, and reinforced the need to be alert and forceful in your response.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:12 AM
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There are people out there purposely doing things because they disagree with the whole pandemic thing.
I disagree with this whole pandemic thing, too.

That's why I take measures to try to prevent it from getting out of control (again).

I don't want to get shut down again, and that's exactly what is going to happen if we show that we cannot open responsibly.
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