San Mateo County Health Officer says people refusing to practice social distancing 'spit in our face'

San Mateo County Health Officer says people refusing to practice social distancing ‘spit in our face’

in Community/Featured/Headline

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow had strong words Monday for those who have been breaking the rules of proper social distancing and sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you decide you want to do your own thing and follow your own rules, you disrespect us all,” Dr. Morrow said in a charged statement posted to the San Mateo County Health website. “You spit in our face, and you will contribute to the death toll that will follow. For those of you who say: ‘nobody tells me what to do,’ now is a time to make an exception. You can go back to being ornery in the future.”

Dr. Morrow echoed the sentiment of other health officials and community members who saw images of people locally and across the country failing to practice social distancing at parks and beaches.

“…Many people just aren’t taking this seriously and going about their business as if nothing has changed,” Dr. Morrow said. “Unless everyone does their part and follows the County’s Shelter-in-Place order and the Governor’s Safer at Home order, we will be facing an Italy-type catastrophe very soon. These orders are not recommendations, they are rules to be followed.”

The doctor implored families in different households not to mix their households at this time. He encouraged people to get outside for exercise, but within their own immediate neighborhoods.

“Do not drive except to provide or obtain an essential service,” he said. “Do not go into other neighborhoods for recreation. This increases the risk of virus spread. Always maintain social distance. Wash your hands frequently and follow all the other recommended actions.”

The doctor also recommended that community members patronize small businesses that need help, volunteer in the community, and donate.

“Now more than ever, what I need for you to do is fully follow my recommendations’ advice and orders, unite as a community, come to each other’s aid, and let kindness, compassion, and gratitude guide your actions,” Dr. Morrow said.

For his full statement, go here.

Photo: Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health


  1. PLEASE Dr. Morrow call for a ban on home chimney fires!!! I have severe chronic asthma and the smoke alone will put me in the hospital. I have sheltered in place already for at least 3 weeks but cannot go outside to walk if someone in my neighborhood is burning wood for their own pleasure. Thank you

  2. Do not try to dictate to us please! You are one among many ‘experts’ who are voicing an opinion.
    Thank you.

  3. Strong words indeed but unfortunately, those who have been breaking the rules of proper social distancing are self absorbed and do not care. Just the other night I was walking my dog in the park and there they were; 16 grown men on the synthetic field, wearing team uniforms engaged in an organized game of Soccer. So who do we report this to?

    I believe that within this crisis lies an opportunity for us as a community to grow stronger, wiser, and more resilient as a result. Please stay home! The most important thing we can do is to take care of ourselves, each other, and the most vulnerable in our community.

  4. Dr morrow should be fired immediatly for fanning the flames of hysteria with mistruth. The Dr knows very well that we couldn’t have an “Italy like catastrophe here if we don’t practice social distancing” as he has stated. Italy’s high death toll is due to it having the second oldest population on earth and he knows we won’t face anything like that. Polititians are Grand standing so they can say they were strong leaders after this is over. The last thing we need is a health official lying to the public. Don’t forget government has a poor track record with these things(sars, H1N1, Swine Flu, etc.) Spending huge amounts of money on intrusive prevention methods that didn’t work or are seen as counter productive overreactions now.

    • Whaddya say now, Bobby Baby? USA is #1! Number one in cases, number one in confirmed deaths! And we have weeks to go!

  5. I wish there is a way to enforce social distancing in a private home. My extended family requests family gathering at least once a week, and this has not changed since stay at home order and social distancing guidance were in place. Our in-laws are our employers and we are obligated and pressured to comply. Since these gatherings happen in a private home undetected, they continued and put us and everyone in the family at risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.