Social Distancing Informants Have Their Eyes on You

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Largely confined to their homes and worried about the spread of the coronavirus, members of the public are becoming unofficial watchdogs.

Kevin Rusch was at home on a recent Sunday evening scrolling through Facebook when he saw a photo that shocked him: A man with an American flag bandanna wrapped around his head stood at a rally demanding Wisconsin lift orders that had shuttered schools and businesses. That man was David Murdock, a cardiologist from his hometown, Wausau. And, like the hundreds of other people at the rally, Dr. Murdock was maskless and did not appear to be practicing social distancing. In one photo, Dr. Murdock’s arm was slung around a priest, with the two holding a sign that read, “We are an essential service.” “His picture popped up, and when I saw it, I was furious,” Mr. Rusch said. “I thought, this guy is out here hugging people and rubbing elbows without P.P.E. on and he’s actively seeing patients.” Mr. Rusch shared Dr. Murdock’s photo on Facebook with an admonition about the doctor who boldly attended a rally amid a pandemic: Go to his hospital “at your own risk.”


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