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People In This Senior Living Community Were Way Too Close In Spite Of The Coronavirus

They are now practicing social distancing, but damn.

Posted on March 19, 2020, at 3:29 p.m. ET

The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, is home to over 50,000 residents, most of whom are within the demographic deemed most at risk for the coronavirus.

Despite this, and despite a positive case of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — being diagnosed nearby, and despite repeated pleas from public health officials (and probably family members of their own) to stay away from everyone, these seniors decided that social distancing was for the birds and went on with their daily routines. A photographer for Reuters captured the scene as of March 17, where everyone was touching too many things and standing way too close.

"You know what, we can't live our entire lives being afraid. My mom works at Walmart; she's 73. I'm careful, even when delivering pizzas — I use sanitizer every time. So you can just do your best, and that's it. My son — he's 17, and we're just waiting for the restaurant where he works to close. He and his buddies just went to Daytona to celebrate spring break. You can't live your life in fear — you can just take precautions, and what's going to happen will happen," said resident Denise Yearwood.

Some distancing measures seem to have been put in place in the area within the past few days: Restaurant have closed, and people are advised to remain 6 feet apart from each other during social gatherings.

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Yana Paskova / Reuters

From left: John Nieckarz, Cheryl Scherbarth, and George Kell elbow-bump at the Spanish Springs Lanes bowling alley.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

A crowd gathers at McCall's Tavern at Spanish Springs Town Square.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

Diners at Amerikanos Grille in the Villages.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

A note warning against stealing toilet paper in the restroom of Flip Flops II Internet Cafe.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

Denise Yearwood plays a game at Flip Flops II Internet Cafe.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

Denise Yearwood collects money after playing a game at Flip Flops II Internet Cafe.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

Bear Brace with friends at Amerikanos Grille in the Villages, Florida.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

An 83-year-old cancer patient, who prefers to remain unnamed, dines at McCall's Tavern in the Villages, Florida.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

A note announces sanitizing procedures at Flippers Pizzeria in the Villages, Florida.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

A waitress sanitizes condiments at Amerikanos Grille.

Yana Paskova / Reuters

Men shake hands at Spanish Springs Town Square.


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