Pamela A. Zeiser By: Pamela A. Zeiser
Associate Professor of Political Science
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19 Dec 2020 : Pandemic Realities: Drive-In Events

I know it has been some months, but I am still occasionally surprised by something in our pandemic lifestyles. The new emphasis on drive-in events is one such surprise. Honking car horns are noisy and rude – they generally mean someone is impatient or angry with another driver. I have had difficulty translating that sound into cheerful clapping, even after watching a few such events on television, such as Biden’s acceptance speech.

I attended my first drive-in event this week.  Although I use “attended” in the virtual sense; I was watching it streamed on Facebook. A friend was elected to a city council in California, so that was the only way I could attend her swearing-in ceremony. There were a few folks on the steps of city hall, well-distanced, either doing the swearing in or being sworn in. Everyone else was in cars throughout the city hall’s parking lot.  Each new councilmember gave a short speech, to the honking and hooting of horns. It bothered me at first, but eventually I got to the point where I could accept the honking as applause, not an annoyance. After all, plenty of horns were cheering my friend on! And, honestly, it IS a creative solution to the distancing problem.

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