Social Distance Warriors Should Not Be Regarded as Moral Exemplars in a Pandemic Nor as Paragons of Politeness: A Response to Shaw

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry:1-4 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In a recent article, Shaw contrasts his own supposed good behaviour, as that of a self-proclaimed “social distance warrior” with the alleged rude behaviour of one of his relatives, Jack, at social events in the former’s house in Scotland in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. He does so to illustrate and support his claims that it was wrong and rude to fail to comply with the governmental advice regarding social distancing because we had a responsibility “to minimize risk” and not wrong nor rude to challenge and cajole those people who failed to do so. This article shows that his claims are contestable. It suggests that his own behaviour was no better than Jack’s.

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