Collective Selfishness and Covid-19

Many unfortunate things have come out of the covid-19 pandemic. One of these things is the selfishness we see from others.


Jeff Dean

Masks have been a running debate in america for the past several months

Covid-19 has been running rampant through the United States since March.  As of Dec. 9, covid-19 has infected over 15 million people in the U.S.A. and has killed over 280,000 people.  There is a very simple way to help stop the spread of this deadly virus: wearing a mask.  So why are so many Americans so opposed to wearing them?

The covid-19 pandemic has been a part of our lives for going on ten months. Since then, toilet paper has disappeared from shelves, people learned how to make homemade bread, and just about everyone had five existential crises. As we move through the tenth month of this pandemic, most other countries in the world have gotten the virus at least somewhat under control.  However, the United States has yet to do much to stop the spread. 

We sometimes don’t think about the mass numbers of casualties that have occured recently

 Many Americans have been refusing to wear masks since the beginning of the pandemic, refusing to listen to the countless scientists and experts that have been saying that masks work for months. The matter at hand is that the reason a lot of people haven’t been wearing masks is simply that they don’t care about other people.  Of course, there are people who cannot wear masks due to medical reasons.  However, this is not the case for most people who don’t wear masks.  The truth is that the people who don’t wear masks because they don’t want to are choosing their own comfort over the lives of others. 

We all remember back in April and May when the progression of covid-19 slowed a little bit.  At the first sign of minor improvement, doors to bars, pools, and restaurants were flung open across the country.  People thought just because things got slightly better, they could return to normal life.  They were wrong.  The virus surged more than it did in the beginning, and we were even worse off than before. As the summer went on, things got worse and worse, and yet the stay-at-home order from the winter wasn’t reinstated.

Hospitals have resorted to iPad stands for loved ones to say goodbye in hospitals

The U.S.A. is the richest country in the world, so why hasn’t the country used its plethora of resources to stop the virus from running rampant across the country? The Trump administration has let the country down in many ways, such as failing to provide enough personal protective equipment to meet the needs of healthcare workers and teachers. The President, as well as his administration, have also held and attended public events where they blatantly ignored the simple tasks that prevent the virus from spreading. For example, at the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, the first family took off their masks, despite the rules set by the Cleveland Clinic health care experts present at the event. 

Some of the loudest opposers of maks mandates across the country have been supporters of President Trump.  President Trump was not seen wearing a mask in public until July, four months after the pandemic had started. He also teased Joe Biden about how often Biden wears a mask at the first presidential debate, only to be diagnosed with Covid-19 a few days later. One woman, a Trump supporter, said that she doesn’t like wearing a mask because “they make her skin break out.” (paragraph 21).  Apparently, this woman’s acne is more important than the people she could infect by not wearing a mask.  People have begun to think only of themselves, rather than consider the lives they could be affecting. 

Over the summer we heard ridiculous cries about letting sports resume and sending kids back to school full time.  Why these people thought it would be a good idea to have hundreds of kids crammed into a building together or have athletes running around breathing heavily on each other is beyond confusing. The fact is that people are dying from this virus and there are very simple things people can do to stop it, or at least slow it down.  Even with this, people are going out to restaurants and bars without a care for the people who could be hurt by their reckless decisions 

Wearing a mask is really the best option, even if you believe they don’t work. If you wear a mask and masks work, then you protect other people and help stop the spread of a deadly virus.  If you wear a mask and masks don’t work, then you suffer the minor inconvenience of having a piece of fabric on your face.  If you don’t wear a mask and masks work, then people die needlessly.  If you don’t wear a mask and masks don’t work, then nothing changes. So, wearing a mask is clearly the best option, even if you don’t believe the countless scientists who have proven that they do. 

Overall, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over most, if not all, aspects of our lives now.  It has taken a huge toll on our economy, on our healthcare system, and on us. The pandemic has shown that some people would put their own comfort and self-interest over the lives of others.  The selfishness of these people has affected so many lives, both the lives of the people who get the virus and their loved ones. However, if we look at the example other countries have set, it shows that if we band together as a people, we can defeat this pandemic and return to normal life, and can hopefully do so with more compassion and care for each other.