On meeting other people

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer!

Yesterday, we had a large outcry in Austria after the ministry of health updated their website to indicate that it was never forbidden to actually meet other people but only discouraged. Looking through the published legislative texts only access to public space (“öffentliche Orte”) is restricted.

It certainly didn’t help, though, that the official press conferences always sounded like meeting others was prohibited in general and leaving your home only allowed for certain reasons. But does this now mean that Corona parties are legal? According to the jurist Andreas Janko:

So verantwortungslos aktuell eine gemeinsame Party von Nachbarn desselben Wohnhauses ist, so wenig ist sie derzeit verboten.

Andreas Janko

Which roughly translates into “As reckless a partying with neighbours in the same housing complex is right now, as little is it currently prohibited.” As far as I know, most so-called “Corona parties” were closed down by police mostly due to noise nuisance.

Let’s ignore the legal aspects for now: Do people think it’s responsible to meet each other despite not knowing whether they are infected or not? IMO the legal question is irrelevant as I’d consider it reckless and immoral to potentially spread an undetected pathogen simply because I want to physically interact with someone else.

Once we have cheap and reliable way to detect the virus and/or reliably treat the caused disease we can be less cautious again but for now I for one will only leave the house if necessary and restrict all social interactions as much as possible to video calls et al.

I’ll leave the discussion about opening bars and restaurants to perhaps another post down the line.