Selfish We Fall

As the USA now claims the throne for everything horrible associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is obvious to see that nearly all of it is due to the overall selfishness of the nation.

If you’re reading this right now, you have the internet and therefore most likely have seen the news, the statistics, the numbers, etc. of the toll that COVID-19 is costing our country, so I won’t regurgitate them, especially because if I did, they’d be outdated by the time I publish this. What I will reiterate, however, is the long-shared “Flattening the Curve” graph, and how EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY is starting to plateau except for the US, where we are somehow making it steeper. How?

Source from March 11, 2020 on MSNBC: https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/what-happens-if-we-don-t-flatten-the-curve-of-coronavirus-in-the-u-s-80500805949

The answer is social distancing. Where all these other countries are practicing it, the USA, as a collective whole, are not. It works, as we can see solid proof from other countries, and we need, nay MUST avoid contact from one another. Yet we are still seeing images of crowded beaches and dense public gatherings every single day. As far as the message about social distancing stands, I, as a citizen of the United States, have received it as merely “recommended.”

Now, it’s EASY to blame others for one’s own shortcomings; that absolves us from any sort of accountability and responsibility. It makes us the victim, forcing others to sympathize with our specific situation and even evoke an emotional reaction/response from them. This is the selfishness that is currently tanking our country.

“IT’S NOT FOR YOU, BUT IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.”

I’ve seen an escalation in this selfishness LONG before this pandemic started. In fact, I’ve noticed an aggressive ramping up over the past several years that I never noticed before or was completely oblivious to. One of the main places I see this in action is driving. And it seems to be getting worse! This could be that I was once the selfish driver, and now needing to safely transport my family, I’m becoming more defensive, making more cautious decisions. I could list hundreds of thousands of driving faux pas, no-nos, and straight up illegal maneuvers, but the most selfish thing I see EVERY TIME I DRIVE is the lack of turn signaling. Turn signals aren’t just for fun, they’re for COMMUNICATING TO OTHERS YOUR INTENTIONS. Even if there aren’t other vehicles on the road near you, there could be pedestrians that could benefit from your successful communication. Maybe you get into an accident the one time you failed to use your turn signal; do you blame the other driver, or do you take ownership of your lack of turn signal use? The bottom line: IT’S NOT FOR YOU, BUT IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Please take a moment to do a quick self-reflection. When you get in the car to drive, do you buckle up every time? Do you use your blinker with every turn or lane change? What if failing to signal your turns were illegal and enforceable? 

Let’s bring it back to everyone’s favorite term: Social Distancing. Why is it that social distancing ourselves from one another is so damned effective? COVID-19 is a virus that spreads from one person to another, so eliminating the “to another” part STOPS the spread. It really is just that simple.

So why are people still getting sick and even dying even though it’s highly recommended to be social distancing? The convoluted and highly complex answer has to do with people’s livelihoods and careers, nourishment and taking care of one’s family, and even the mental health and well-being of being social creatures during a time of isolation. The simple answer is “selfishness.” It can be difficult to do something if: one, it doesn’t immediately affect you; two, it’s not illegal (which in turn, would affect you); and three, you’re not seeing the results you like.

The United States of America was born by breaking the rules and not listening to the government. The Civil War surfaced by conflicting ideals and values that divided the nation. There are currently different ideals and values that are creating a large crack in our nation, and for years it has been political; today, the divide is between the selfless and the selfish. There are those that are pointing fingers and not taking responsibility and there are those that are doing anything and everything they can to help diminish the spread.

We need to get aligned. While some of us are staying home, others are out and potentially spreading COVID-19. Like signalling your turns, Social Distancing and staying home are merely recommended and not an enforceable law. Even if it were to become mandated, there are some of us pulsating with so much “Patriotism” through our veins that no law would keep them imprisoned in the comfort of our own homes. Just know, WE ALL WANT TO MOVE ON WITH OUR LIVES, and it will happen sooner if we all cooperate.

We aren’t fighting a monarch, we’re fighting the spread of a deadly virus. WE ALL need this selfishness to stop. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and don’t become the victim; stop blaming others. Yes, it is hard, but we’re all in this together. Keep your distance. Use the amazing technology that exists today to stay connected. Stay home if you can.

Remember, IT’S NOT FOR YOU, BUT IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.