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Hallelujah, Coronavirus Is Over! Well, According To Social Media, Anyway

With the gradual easing of restrictions and lack of daily briefings, it’s easier to fall into the trap of letting social distancing slide because you don’t really know what the rules are anymore.

This reasoning is something I can totally empathise with, only two households can mix indoors (at a 1m+ distance) but then offices are encouraged to get back to work? A lot of information we are receiving is contradictory, confusing or easy to find loopholes in. But you know what isn’t difficult to understand; we all need to make some sacrifices to literally save lives.

Sorry to sound like a boomer, but I really do feel as though our generation in particular is being incredibly selfish in the face of this pandemic. I know people who have been unable to meet their newborn relatives, visit their elderly family or hug their partners. I also know people who have been going to house parties, posting photos of hugging their friends on social media and staying round each other’s houses in big groups.

We live in a world of instant gratification and have been raised in the encouraging environment of “you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do”

These two stories don’t seem to correlate to me. An excuse I’ve heard from a lot of people is “but I just can’t not hug my S/O for months on-end!” Well, actually, you can, you just don’t want to. We live in a world of instant gratification and have been raised in the encouraging environment of “you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do”, but unfortunately, this has led a lot of people to believing they have the right to do whatever they want to do at any time.

According to government data, 560 new people were confirmed to have COVID-19 on Wednesday 22nd July (the day of writing this). Yes, this is certainly a lot lower than the number at its peak, but we are still so far from being out of the woods.

It’s as though if it doesn’t affect people personally, they don’t care about it

What I just really don’t understand is the selfishness behind people breaking guidelines. As I mentioned earlier, it’s as though people have the right to do this and they’re not stopping to consider that, actually, what they’re doing might be fine for them but could lead to the death of someone else’s beloved family member. It’s as though if it doesn’t affect people personally, they don’t care about it.  A pandemic is a time of national emergency. Another time of national emergency is a war, such as World War One and World War Two. During these wars, sons were torn away from parents and forced to run into the danger (much like all of our key worker staff) and couples were forced to separate indefinitely, never knowing if they would ever see each other again, let alone hug.

I do understand that the sacrifices we have had to make have been extraordinarily difficult

Obviously, this was a very different situation and was much harder for people to break the rules, but the point is that people didn’t try. As far as I know, partners didn’t try and sneak over to France just to be in a trench together because they just “couldn’t not hug their S/O for months on-end!”. Instead, people rallied together and accepted that all the sacrifices they were making were to help everyone, not just themselves.

I do understand that the sacrifices we have had to make have been extraordinarily difficult. But I think that generally speaking (big sweeping statement, I know), we are in a very lucky position as university students- mainly because we’re in a low-risk age group. In my opinion, this means that we should be adhering to social distancing the most strictly (certainly not posting photos proudly breaking it), in order to allow for other people breaking it, such as a grandparent giving their newborn grandchild just one hug.

This has been a long ol’ rant, so congratulations for getting this far, even though I’m sure a lot of you totally disagree with what I’ve said. But my point is that I think we need to stop being so selfish.

I hope we can learn from this pandemic and start realising that we have the ability to help others, and by putting others’ needs before our own, we can be lifesavers.

Emily Casey

Featured image courtesy of  dole777 via Unsplash. Image license found hereNo changes were made to this image. 

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