Selfish or selfless? A decision many are failing to make correctly

Abby Hendrickson

Hello all. I sincerely hope everyone is staying safe and continuing the practice of social distancing during these hard and confusing times. If not, consider this your reality check.


These times are simply put…insane. The world is experiencing a pandemic we had little time to prepare for, do not know nearly enough about (nor have a vaccine against), and there have been over 100,000 deaths in the United States ALONE so far this year. There are people in our society whose professions require them to place themselves (and potentially their family members) at risk to this disease. There are also people in our society who are especially susceptible to this disease, whether that be due to age, an illness prior to this pandemic, or a generally weaker immune system.


Clearly, there are a lot of variables and a lot of people who can be harmed by this situation and are being harmed by this situation. What absolutely no one needs to be doing right now is ignoring the recommended procedures of social distancing and acting like life is normal just because they are in a position where they are not directly threatened. I really do not know how to properly express this, or explain why you should care about other people, but I will definitely try.


To those who have been posting footage of themselves and their large friend groups treating this quarantine like a summer vacation (whether that be going to public places or each other’s private homes)…how dare you. How DARE you. I do not know if it is plain ignorance or an unchecked sense of egoism, but either way is simply unacceptable.


If it happens to be ignorance (which really is not an excuse), I recommend you pay attention to the information on every single media outlet that is constantly being updated.



If it is you being selfish (which I suspect is the majority of the people still engaging in social interactions), I wish you could feel the full extent of my rage. Remember, it not just about YOU possibly contracting the virus, it is also about you potentially SPREADING the virus. You could be an asynchronous carrier, show no symptoms, and infect those around you.


You simply can’t go any more time without seeing your friends? You are bored? Boo hoo. I mean you can’t seriously think that everyone else is not feeling the same thing. I can promise you we all are. This time just allows for the unique opportunity to expose who is actually mature, empathetic, and responsible enough to control themselves. Toddlers struggle with understanding instant gratification and long-term consequences…educated teenagers should not. So, I ask you to please grow up and act your age for once. When you choose to go out in public you are making a choice, the wrong one.


I am sure if you thought about it a little harder that some of you would stop and obey the current regulations. It is understandable that you do not equate hanging out with friends with potentially placing people’s lives in danger. But you ARE and you have been warned about that risk countless times.


Please allow me the pleasure of explaining why you could be risking human life, whether it is your own or a stranger’s really should not matter, when you choose to ignore social distancing procedures.


For one, this virus is known to spread extremely easily. It can spread through interpersonal contact (through the air as well as touch). It has also been believed to exist on surfaces. So, even if you and your friends go somewhere no one else is around, it is still possible to contract the virus and further it’s spread.


Another reason is that you could easily be a carrier. You may never show traditional symptoms and not get tested as a result, but you could still be carrying it and pass it along to someone. There are people battling cancer. There are small children with autoimmune deficiencies. There are entire nursing homes of grandparents that are especially susceptible. I really should not have to list people who are at risk just because they are particularly heartfelt examples…the fact that they are people should be enough.


It is almost ironic how you are self-incriminating yourselves and your friend group when you are posting you guys out together online for everyone to see. What do you think people are going to think? I can tell you what I and a lot of other people are feeling.


  1. Am. Disgusted.


  1. Am. Frustrated.


  1. Am. Infuriated.


One impact this will definitely have on the future is the fact that I will remember who was responsible and who was not during this time when our country needed us to think about more than just ourselves. Some of my closest friends thought it was a joke for the longest time and STILL to this day do not treat this situation with the respect and understanding it truly requires. I will have trouble looking past that. This is revealing a lot of true colors.


With that being said, I am sending everyone a ton of love and a virtual hug. I hope you use this harsh reality check as a reminder to be an active member of our society who expresses compassion and patience for the situation at hand. We can get through this. The sooner we all respect the current procedures, the sooner we can begin attempting to return to a sense of normalcy.


Be kind. Think of others. Stay safe. I love you.