Columns, Coronavirus, Opinion

Culture Shock: You can’t be selfish in a pandemic

So, we are in a pandemic. That means, as a society, we need to fulfill our civic duty of staying indoors and social distancing. When days inevitably turn into weeks, this practice has become more difficult for me and millions around the globe.

My days have become much more monotonous since I began social distancing. I suddenly have such a strong desire to go to the mall, see my friends and dine-in at a restaurant. These are things I have had the freedom to do for the past 19 years of my life. Now, for everyone’s safety, I cannot.

Everyday, I stay home (as one should) and wait for this to all be over. But the end does not seem near.

I am growing more and more discouraged as I continue seeing people not staying inside. The spread in America really began to peak around spring break, when schools began to close down. I figured people would cancel their travel plans and stay home. Yet, I saw a large number of people traveling, whether at the beach or in large groups. No one is immune to this disease, and it is selfish to neglect your part in stopping its spread.

It is not a surprise that people are ill-informed about the severity of this virus. The media is flooded with information all day long in regards to COVID-19, and it is definitely overwhelming. But even if you don’t understand everything about the virus, I am sure that you can acknowledge that it is spreading quickly.

Right now, medical workers around the world are running low on supplies such as medical masks, ventilators and hospital beds. This is pretty scary to think about. Our hospitals were not built with a pandemic in mind. This means that everyone needs to do their part in preventing the  spread so that we do not overwhelm our healthcare system. If we reach that point, the death toll will only continue to rise. 

On top of our medical care potentially failing, the economy is headed towards a recession. People are losing their jobs as non-essential workers are being sent home. And small businesses are getting hit especially hard. The quicker the virus is under control, the quicker more people can get back to work. 

Money typically grabs the attention of those who are not paying attention, so you would expect a recession to keep people inside. But, there is still a blatant disregard of the current crisis. Maybe some people don’t care about contracting the disease because they won’t experience as severe symptoms, such as someone who is over 65 years old or immunocompromised. 

Just because you think your symptoms won’t be that bad, that doesn’t mean you can be selfish during a time like this. Everyone is having to change their lifestyles in order to overcome this pandemic. There are no exceptions allowed. 

And by going out more, you are increasing your risk of contracting the disease. Even if you’re young, you will still have to strictly quarantine yourself for 14 days or eventually be hospitalized. And most importantly, just because you can survive the disease doesn’t mean the people you spread it to can do the same.

If you’re going to be selfish about this pandemic, be selfish enough to stay inside. Stay inside because you want to live your own life. Stay inside so that you can go back to your job and your school. 

Life is crazy right now and it feels very uncertain. But if we as a society can collectively do our own part of staying inside, life can go back to normal. After experiencing this for almost two weeks, I can personally say that this will not be an easy process. These changes are something that we didn’t see coming and are forcing us to change our lifestyles abruptly. But if we can’t adapt, this situation can only get worse. 



Comments are closed.