A shameful Central Park encounter demands all New Yorkers be better people

But Christian did not one of us any favors. He and Amy may not be related, but they’re sure as hell part of the same family of privileged New Yorker. As one Twitter person put, ironically, Christian is the “Karen” in this encounter, deciding to enforce park rules unilaterally and to punish “intransigence” ruthlessly. And how — luring Amy’s dog with dog treats he regularly wears in his handy utility belt? To enforce leash laws?…

New Yorkers have always had competing impulses: “know-it-all busybody” vs. “mind ya business.” Last month, the mayor put his finger on the scales onto the “busybody” side. He’s encouraged residents to narc on their neighbors over social distancing violations. Given the larger health crisis (and its disproportionate impact on New York), that’s somewhat understandable. Unfortunately, it emboldens people to take the wise 9/11-era advisement of “If you see something, say something” and weaponize it into “if you see anything, report anything.” (Of course, the mayor doesn’t like it when the person being narced on is him.)

In this time, maybe we should all strive to give people some slack over daily comportment — whether social distancing, mask-wearing or more traditional aggravations like, well, leash violations.