One man left the house after an argument with his wife and walked 280 miles to cool off, breaching Italy’s national curfew.
Another man wandered outside his quarantine room in Taiwan for eight seconds and caught the attention of the authorities.
Still another drove 19 miles for a butter chicken curry during a strict lockdown and was apprehended by the Australian police.
All those actions ended up costing them thousands of dollars in penalties.
During the global pandemic, with entire cities locked down, travel heavily restricted and isolation fatigue setting in, thousands of people have been caught, fined or jailed for breaching coronavirus restrictions that have made once normal activities taboo.
Some have intentionally broken the rules to make a political statement. Others have claimed they are immune to the disease and from the consequences of breaking those restrictions. Others have simply blundered into breaches because they apparently didn’t understand the rules or were acting in a moment of desperation.
“Everyone is operating in a crazy world where our normal rational decision making goes out the window,” said Robert Hoffmann, a professor of economics at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. “A pandemic is a perfect storm.”
Another unusual case occurred in the port city of Kaohsiung, in the south of Taiwan, where a migrant worker from the Philippines was caught on surveillance cameras briefly stepping into the corridor of a hotel while he was under quarantine in November.
The unidentified man wanted to leave something outside the door of a friend, who was quarantining at the same hotel, according to the Central News Agency, the official Taiwanese news agency, citing the health department.
In a video clip that circulated online, the man, wearing shorts and flip-flops, could be seen taking six lumbering strides between his room and that of his neighbor, before turning around.
The breach cost him $3,550.