Selfishness in the midst of chaos

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I apologize in advance if this week’s article sounds more similar to a soapbox rant than an opinion piece; however, I simply can’t allow for this to go unsaid any longer. Don’t get me wrong, I think that people have a right to be selfish when it comes to taking care of themselves. That being said, I think that this pandemic has not only brought out the best in Americans, but also some of the worst.

It has been hope-inspiring to see how some people are responding to the chaos by opening their arms and resources to help those who may be hurting more from the pandemic, and I think that the optimism of moments like these are the things that we have to hold onto the most to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Practicing techniques of support and compassion are the food that is pushing us through.

Nonetheless, there have been people that turn around one of the worst things that the majority of us have lived through and make it about themselves.

Yes, it’s upsetting that this is ripping up the very fabric of our traditional lives and taking things away from all of us that we have been looking forward to, but I find it much more imperative to use this time as a hard reset to discover humanity. I would much rather have the end of my semester be “ruined” by online classes if it meant that it would help the world heal.

This pandemic is so new, foreign and something that we, unfortunately, were not prepared for that it’s hard to say the long-term effects that it will have on all of us. This is something that will affect the mental health and routine of all of us for months and maybe even years to come, and I think we should be spending this time trying to take care of ourselves to avoid turmoil rather than keeping our focus on the ephemeral negatives.

Thousands of people could be displaced, have lost a loved one or have this affect them in a much more personal way than having to face the inconvenience of wearing a mask, and these people, along with the frontline healthcare workers, are the ones who need our support the most. Social distancing and limiting contact with others outside of our households aren’t worth potentially putting others at risk. You never know who you could come in contact with.

I would hate for us to allow the situation to get the best of us as a nation and turn us back to the egocentric stereotype when we’re being given an opportunity to learn more about humanity and our function with each other and as a greater whole.

This does not belittle the feelings that some may have about all the chaos going on, all of which are valid, I’m just having trouble finding productivity in a collective negative force when we should be coming together and loving one another.

I encourage all Americans to stay safe, be cautious, stay informed and take care of yourselves to whatever capacity you find necessary in the midst of this chaos.