Maturity and Morality During the Pandemic (Op-Ed)
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best and worst in humanity. While some people are altruistic, providing aid for society by working on the frontlines, others are extremely selfish, refusing to get vaccinated despite eligibility. This dichotomy has created further division among communities as the pandemic has been politicized and made into an ideological issue, instead of the public health issue it is. Society as a whole needs to realize the importance of maturity and moral behavior, especially during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In modern society, people are more connected in various ways than ever before, yet the behave even more selfishly, as if they live in a bubble. Getting vaccinated and boosted is essential to protect not only oneself, but others around oneself as well. However, illogical arguments against vaccination are used to justify the lack of vaccination. Overly sensitive and emotional responses are given to requests to act for the good of society, ranging from complete fallacies regarding the pandemic, to violence and the citing of personal liberties. One cannot live enclosed in a bubble in today;s modern age: one relies on countless others and interacts with many more every day for necessities. Modern luxuries often taken for granted, such as running water and electricity, are only possible because of the work of many people, such as those at water treatment plants and electricians. The availability of groceries is thanks to farmers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, and more. To continue life, one has to think of the welfare of society as a whole; one cannot be obstinate and childishly sustain support for an illogical view.
Immoral behavior is nor limited to anti-vaxxers: vaccinated individuals behave cruelly as well. Some vaccinated individuals take glee in the deaths of anti-vaxxers as a deserving punishment brought down. However, vaccines do not give complete immunity: they reduce the risk of serious illness after contracting COVID-19. It is possible to become infected and die from COVID-19 even after vaccination; pride goes before fall. Furthermore, all sorts of people are required for a society to function. While one may feel frustration or anger at anti-vaxxers, reacting violently is immature and shows a disregard for others. All people have been affected by the pandemic, so common courtesy is all the more necessary to prevent further strife in a strained world.
Polarization causing this strain results from the lack of trust in medical professionals and the government. Many people no longer feel the urgency of the pandemic, and the misinformation and disinformation swirling around on the Internet exacerbate foolhardy behavior. Society needs to realize the pandemic is a public health crisis; the pandemic is not an ideological or political issue. The politicizing of the pandemic under the Trump administration led to widespread misinformation and disinformation regarding the pandemic and vaccines, as people gave support to a president that refused to be mature and moral by protecting the people. A spike in COVID-19 deaths was seen, and infection rates are still not wholly under control as a result.
To end this pandemic, people need to realize maturity and morality are essential. Attempting to live one’s life in a bubble will only backfire in a globalized and interconnected world. No person is entirely off grid any more; society needs to work together to alleviate an issue that affects all its members.