by Michael J. Orr
Yes, I said selflessness.
COVID-19 will likely infect nearly all of us over the next few months, regardless of what we do. That is an unfortunate reality. With that in mind, and driven by relentless 24/7 media coverage, people have begun to panic.
Let me state here that I am not minimizing the dangers of the virus itself nor the effects it will have on the elderly with underlying medical conditions or anyone with compromised immune systems. It is dire and scary for those people. They should take extreme precautions.
But, for most of us, the infection itself will be minimal, and many may never actually show any symptoms of the virus. So, while the vast majority of the population will be affected minimally, why is that same majority panic-buying staple items like toilet paper? It’s a respiratory infection folks; you won’t be spending the summer on the toilet.
The irony, of course, is that the elderly and immuno-compromised are the most likely to be on fixed incomes and won’t be able to hoard those staples. They shop week-to-week or month-to-month to get the essentials that they need. You normal, healthy people hoarding whatever you can, inhibit the ability of the most vulnerable to buy necessities, because you decided that you need 144 rolls of TP for what will likely be around a 14-day quarantine. That is selfish and irrational.
What can we do to be selfless? Wash your hands frequently, with soap. Postpone visits to Grandma at the assisted-living facility. She will understand that you are trying to protect everyone at the facility. Don’t hug everyone you run into.
Your focus should not be on trying not to get infected. That is about you. Your focus should be on being conscious about your interactions with others. Your focus should be about not spreading the infection to those at risk.
But more than that, selfishness causes us to go overboard and isolate ourselves from everyone. In fact, there are those begging the government to legislate us into isolation. That sets a very dangerous precedent. Selflessness means we still go out and support the small businesses in our community. It means we still volunteer. It means we wear masks, not to protect ourselves, but—if we are sick—to protect others.
I predict that, despite the fear-mongering on TV, the largest impact of this virus will be an economic one, not a medical one. Some would argue that that is the purpose of the fear-mongering. It is an election year after all.
So be selfless:
Instead of hoarding, share.
Instead of isolating, reach out and help.
Instead of living in fear, live in self-awareness.
Instead of protecting yourself, protect others.
All of us will know someone who gets hit hard by this virus. Many of us will know someone who dies from it. Use common sense. Understand the ramifications of your interactions. And, for God’s sake, washing your hands shouldn’t be a terribly new concept to people, but it seems to be.
Photo by hello I’m nick (UK) @hellonikdesign
Michael J. Orr is a #1 Bestselling Author, Freelance Writer, Speaker, and Entrepreneur based in Southern Idaho. His new book, KILL the Bucket List: Start Living Your Dreams is now available. He also wrote the #1 Best Seller, BURN SCAR (under the pseudonym T.J. Tao).