Image for post
Image for post
Lack of social distancing abounds

So it was time. I needed to renew my driver's license. I took the opportunity to get the Real ID, even if the deadline has been extended to 2021. First a shout out to the employees. They are doing a magnificent job under trying conditions. I could also see and hear the low morale among the staff once I got inside. Why? Usually people bad mouth the DMV. Now it’s worse. And they are facing getting ill, and the usual trials we all are with testing.

I have quite a bit to say about the people who were in line with me, however. It was a textbook example of a lack of civic culture that is pervasive in the country. One of the things the DMV did was to keep people in line outside. Yes, it’s summer, and it’s hot. But the precautions are necessary. And some of the people in line were textbook examples as to why we have rising cases.

There were the two who did not wear masks. Both were smokers, which means the rest of us got to enjoy second-hand smoke. They are also at a higher risk to get respiratory diseases, including COVID. And of course, since they were smoking, they were not wearing these masks. they had them with them because they are required inside. But wear them? Not really.

Image for post
Image for post
Mask not worn correctly

Then there were the others, a larger group than should make you comfortable, that wore them. Except that the noses were free because they were talking on the phone, or the glasses were getting foggy. Perhaps because even at 9:30 it was hot. This is a problem. People need to use those masks correctly.

Then there is social distancing. It may as well not be mentioned. As much as I tried, I was unable to maintain it. People kept crowding in. As we got close to the entry the DMV personnel kept repeating “remember the six-foot rule.” It’s the DMV in a state with immigrants from all over the world, so it may be a communications issue, but the people crowding me spoke English. So they did not have any excuses. They kept getting close, and no glaring would stop that.

The line more or less matched the service numbers, so as the line snaked forwards, I made the comment that it felt fairly efficient. And for the DMV it was. I was in and out in ninety minutes. If I had made an online appointment, it would have been faster. But I suspect we are going back to phase one, so wanted to get it done now, and it is. One of the people crowding in complained that they should just let him in. I pointed out that it’s easier to catch the virus in crowded indoor spaces. His body language and mask-slacker behavior spoke as to what he thinks of this. At least he did not argue.

Once inside there were only six chairs. It took fifteen minutes, and for the photo both my mask and glasses went off. I took shallow breaths. I was done. I got to my car and drove home. But if you wonder why we are not having this under control, my morning at the DMV was a textbook example for this.

I must add, generally speaking, my outings are to the supermarket and the farmers market. So most of the people we interact outside, and most are the appropriate word, wear their masks. Mostly because either they are told to do so, or will do it because they get it. And stores will refuse service, but many of my neighbors are like these mask slackers. So this is why we are not bringing this under control. So the DMV was a tad shocking.

If you want to get in and out of the DMV fill the forms online and make an appointment. Prepare though for some frustration with this lack of civil behavior.

And once again, thanks to the professional staff. Some of us appreciate you. We follow the rules, in my case I understand the science behind them. It’s not complicated and it is not political. I also made sure to use hand sanitizer after signing documents. Wear a mask, social distancing, and wash your hands. This is how we get out of this.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store