5 Ways To Be A Decent Person During The Coronavirus Panic
Hoarding toilet paper isn’t on the list.
Before anyone starts on me, let me first say I’m not a medical expert. And I am also not trying to make light of what is clearly a very serious situation. COVID-19 is scary. People are dying, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. These people have been declared the most vulnerable in society. And as Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”So of course, we want to protect them; we want to take steps to ensure that they are kept as safe as possible. And these measures might be inconvenient, they might be annoying, they might even be scary. But they are necessary. I understand how, to some people, it might seem like overreacting. But if you’re elderly or have an underlying health condition, then it’s not overreacting, it’s just acting.
And these measures, along with the constant avalanche of news coverage; creates panic. And when one person panics, it’s bad. But when a whole country, or in the case, half the world panics, it’s monumentally bad. The most accurate quote I think I ever heard a fictional character say is “People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals” (if you can guess who it is you win a roll of toilet paper)But it’s true, when the human race panics, things get really ugly, really fast. So amongst the empty shelves and the fist fights for bottled water, how can you stay calm and not be a complete dick?
Well there are 5 things to remember:
Just Because You’re Not Elderly Doesn’t Mean It’s Overreacting.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is elderly. Or someone who has a health condition that might make COVID-19 a fatal illness. When you go outside, you are safe in the knowledge that basic hygiene measures are enough to keep it at bay. As long as you wash your hands and don’t touch anyone, you’re okay. Now imagine thinking that if you go out, you could contract a virus that has the power to kill you fairly quickly. A virus that nobody knows how to cure or even effectively manage. Your immune system just isn’t strong enough to fight it off, and you know you might die.Think about how terrifying that must be and how the death of vulnerable people is something that we need to try to prevent. It’s not all about you.
Other People Need Supplies Too
Seriously, don’t be a dick. There is a special place in hell for those people who are hoarding sanitizer, soap, and things like that. Get what you need, but try to be a decent human being and remember that other people need this stuff too. People who might have someone in their family who is older or sick. Don’t be one of those assholes who ends up on the news because they sucker punched another shopper for a bottle of hand soap. Not everyone can afford to buy in bulk. Not everyone can get to the store as often as they might like. And some people can only afford to shop once per week or month and have a very small budget. And I know you might think “that’s not my problem.” And you know what? It’s not, but have a freaking heart.
Stay Out Of The Comments SectionIn fact, staying off social media might be a good idea altogether. Only get your Coronavirus related news from trusted sources. And for the love of Mike, stay out of the comments section. It will only fill you with anxiety, dread, and an impending sense of doom. The people in the comments section are not medical experts. If they were then they would be working on a cure, not sitting on Facebook. Don’t let them scare you, panicking won’t help anybody.
“Could” And “Will” Are Very Different Words.
Your government “could” do this, they “could” do that. But whether they will or not is a totally different matter entirely. If you’re anything like me, you would like a clear plan outlined in plain English right now. But unfortunately we don’t have one, so we just have to wait and see what the government tells us the best plan of action is. And please be aware that scientists inform the government, they’re not making the decisions themselves.
Drop Off Food For Elderly Or Vulnerable People.
If you know someone who is elderly or more at risk, do their shopping for them. It will take moments out of your day, but it could literally save their lives. Get them to write you a list, get the stuff and then just drop it outside their door. If you’re feeling nice, buy them a little something too. Even if it’s just some chocolates or a book from the thrift store, let them know you’re thinking about them.
Take Someone’s Mind Off Of It.
If someone you know is older, vulnerable or just plain anxious, try to distract them. This is a very serious situation, but it isn’t The Walking Dead. Talk to them about things other than Coronavirus. Talk to them about TV shows, books, art. Anything that isn’t this damned virus. It might seriously help to ease their anxiety.
Being a decent person isn’t hard. And even though the news would have you believe that they don’t exist anymore, they definitely do.