by Cody J. Elms
I would say that I was surprised by the last several weeks, but let’s be honest, no one is. From hoarding of toilet paper to cases of water for bathing (Yes I heard someone say, “bathing,” which still has me somewhat baffled), the line between logical reaction and irrational panic one would think would be fairly distinct, however it appears that it is not only blurred, but basically an Etch A Sketch. Shaken just a little, and it disappears all together.
With my sarcastic and occasional dark sense of humor, it has been difficult to hold back some of the softballs for jokes, but thus far I have done well. Mostly, because despite popular belief, I don’t want to be that a**hole.
Here’s the deal, as cliché as it may seem, we don’t always have to agree to get along. Therefore I have compiled a list of suggestions on how to avoid being that a**hole during the COVID-19 crisis.
This may come as a bit of a shock to some, but this is not the Apocalypse. At least there hasn’t been any proof of such a dire outcome. Now this has been beaten into the ground over the last 72 hours, but basically, if you don’t want to be that a**hole, then don’t clear the shelves of soap, toilet paper, water, food, or literally anything else. Take what you would need for approximately two to three weeks and move along. A good rule of thumb is, if you don’t drink a case of water in one week, why would you think you’d drink 10 in three weeks? There are people out there, who do not have the financial or physical ability to over buy, and by individuals clearing shelves out of pure ignorance and panic, they are depriving others of the basic essentials to live their lives. Yeah, don’t be an a**hole..
If Not You, Maybe Them
I get it. You’re 25, in shape, eat right, and run 10 miles a day. Bravo! You’re not the person sane people are particularly concerned about, despite your outstanding capacity of believing the world is yours to rule. This is not an attack on young people, but more so an awaking that it’s your parents and grandparents that you need to be cautious for. If you want to get together, socialize, travel, and do all the things that medical professionals as well as state and federal officials are telling you not to do, by all means, hammer down, but after you’re done with your COVID-19 World Tour, stay away from anyone with health issues or of an older age. Again, don’t be an a**hole.
Time and a Place
Your politics don’t matter. I’ll repeat that...Your politics do not matter. Yes, things could have been handled differently. How? Hell if I know, but worldwide, it could have been handled better. Here’s the thing, there will be a time and a place for politics. A time and a place for backing or attacking the President. A time and a place for claiming political victory or defeat. That time and place is not now. While you spend hours sharing memes and horribly misinformed opinions into your Facebook and Twitter echo chambers, you could instead be helping to alleviate the burden on others. That’s not to say you have to, but if you have the energy to dedicate to social media warfare, you certainly have the energy to assist your community in whatever way they need. However, if you want to be an a**hole, then keep doing what you’re doing.
Fear, Faith, Fuel, and Funny
You may not be afraid, but there are people who are. There are people who fall into the unfortunate group of being the most affected by COVID-19. So if they believe prayer will help them, do not mock them. Their faith does you no harm. If they believe that taking some extra vitamins will keep their immune systems strong, then encourage them to do so to keep that positive mindset. If humor is the way they deal with the harsh reality shown throughout the media of events across the world, then by all means, let them laugh. The point here is, it is not up to us to dictate how others deal with their fear. As long as what they do doesn’t hurt others or put them in harm's way, then as Paul McCartney once famously sang, “Let it be.”
...Oh and don’t be an a**hole...Paul McCartney may or may not have said that once. I don't know...Google it.