Since the new wave called ‘COVID-19’ hit the world, most of us find ourselves dazzled and confused on how to behave properly and ask if we should even adopt the measures our governments proclaim, in order to prevent the spread of this virus. Yet, in the supposition that despite of the lack of consensus on what measures we should follow, we still want to keep us and our dearest safe, I hope to hear your opinions on why so many people around the world start to cut up rough when asked for something so simple as wearing a mask or skipping gym and crowded places.
Ignorance. In the beginning of the crisis up until today, there are still many people who don’t inform themselves enough in order to grasp the need to implement the protective measures. Additionally, it turned out many people lack basic knowledge on the transmission of bacteria and viruses.
Selfishness. This aspect refers mostly to those in the lower-risk groups who can contract the disease and then, usually unknowingly, spread it to the others, where some of them are from the higher-risk groups. This usually means that younger family members who feel they might have mild symptoms or even do not contract the virus at all, might not want to waive their rich social life, so then they do not empathize enough with the consequences the behavior might bring to their older family members.
We respond much better to the suffering we witness directly. Usually, we’d rather call 911 or jump to rescue if we see someone collapsing on the street, than feel shaken if we hear about the same situation on the news happening in another city. Applying this to the COVID-19 situation, since in the early stages of infection one does not know he/she is a carrier, unless provided with undisputable evidence, we cannot feel the weight of the consequences we probably produce.
Actions we are accustomed to assess from a moral perspective. The first three reasons refer to the moral sacrifices we are willing to perform, but this one frames the actions we perceive as completely out of a moral pool of actions in our daily routines. As the author simply puts it: “Everyone knows that guns are dangerous, lethal weapons. If I asked you to raise a gun and point it at a stranger’s face, your heart would probably start to race in protest. But most of us have grown up in a world in which the decision to grab a coffee from Starbucks, or to meet a friend for a chat, was not freighted with deep moral significance. No matter how dangerous such actions might be right now, they feel completely benign.”