Who’s the real killer here?
6 days into self-isolation for a mild flu, my sister asked me what I thought about the entire situation surrounding the global COVID-19 outbreak. For a while I genuinely thought about her question, polishing my points, ready to back my arguments up with scientific evidence, fully prepared to speak about it. I was ready.
Until I realised how utterly disappointing my entire train of thought was leading to be. It was honestly pathetic.
There’s no denying that humans have become more and more entitled. We give ourselves way more credit than we deserve, simply because we can. And we’ve become so, so opinionated as we grow more entitled. The internet and surge of information we can get in just a snap isn’t helpful at containing that entitlement either. If you don’t have an opinion, you were living under a rock, full stop. You need to keep up. Why are you not up to date?
This applies no matter the situation. Take for instance the stocking up on toilet roll issue. There are two sides taking part in the debate, both feeling very passionately about their opinions. Step away from the discussion, however, and you’ll start to see we’re pointing fingers at other human beings for being human. You know, making mistakes? Feeling worried and acting on those feelings? No, obviously we don’t always act rationally. That’s pretty much what being human entails. But is standing on the opposite side and pointing fingers the way to go about it? Sure, it’s harmless bickering, and we’re allowed to disagree, but what does it say about us? The fact that in such a state, THAT’S what we’re going to argue about.
What about the many chants of ‘X and Y aren’t doing anything to contain the virus!’ ‘ABC university hasn’t cancelled classes!’ ‘We shouldn’t be going out anymore!’.
It’s a lot easier to be angry at other people, especially people who are meant to be responsible during a crisis. But just because it’s easier, doesn’t mean we should. What good will it bring to anyone? Other than fuelling the anxiety of the anxious, and the anger of the angry, what good will any of this bring?
Yes, the virus is dangerous to many, and yes, it is a scary situation we’re living in now. But is it worse than the total and complete lack of humanity we witness on a daily? When we need solidarity and love the most, we’re drawing lines on the ground and grouping people based off their opinions. Based off such minuscule topics. Really?
Is this what humanity looks like in the face of panic? In the face of helplessness and total fear? Because at this rate, we are far from prepared for the worst. If anything, we somehow manage to take the bad and turn it into worse. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’ve already begun to see the horrendous side of people. Can you even imagine the stigma surrounding patients who will have survived the infection? How self-isolation out of choice can so easily turn into the only choice? How this could in turn impact their health in ways beyond physical?
I suppose the question I’m asking is, why don’t we care about each other’s feelings anymore? We’re always trying to learn from our mistakes, but history continues to repeat itself. Our disregard for each other, no matter how small it looks now, can, and will, grow. In which case, who’s the real killer here? The statistics we pull up to look smart, the advice we throw left and right with complete disregard to the full picture of the situation, the judgement we pass on those who act the only way they know how, or the virus?
An equally terrified human being.