You Make Me Sick- A Rant About Selfishness in the Age of COVID-19

* Warning: I’m going to get a bit political here. If political ranting is not your bag (baby), or you’re just not in the frame of mind to read an angry post, best give this a wide steer. xx

I have been one angry camper today. I made the rather collosal mistake of scrolling through the #ProtestLockdown hashtag on Twitter in the very early hours of this morning, and I became increasingly incensed, to the point of almost wanting to pick a fight with the people protesting, or vociferously supporting the protesters. It doesn’t help, of course, that the vast majority (if not all) of these people are Trump-ist MAGAts, and thus already a red rag to my raging bull!

I get that the economic hardship caused by lockdown measures across the globe are crippling for huge swathes of people. I am facing it myself, and my dwindling finances and decreasing work opportunities are a huge source of anxiety for me. But, for me, I know that my anxiety would be compounded a hundred-fold if I were to put another person at risk of serious illness and, potentially, death.

I’ll freely admit to being prone to self-loathing and self-sabotage (for an incredibly astute discussion of self-sabotage, I encourage you to read this post on the subject from Deviant Succubus). As such, I don’t really give much of a shit about myself, and in many respects I don’t necessarily care if I were to catch COVID-19, even if it ultimately meant the end of my existence here in this life. I apologise for such negativity, but it is the reality for me.

But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? It’s the reality for me. It is not the same for other people, and I have no right to endanger or cause harm to someone else who doesn’t share my self-negating attitude. I’m not trying to paint myself as some saintly Mother Theresa here, always putting others ahead of myself. But when the outcome for those others is an horrendous ordeal, the effects of which may and likely will affect them for the rest of their lives- if indeed they survive it- then, yes, I’m going to do everything I can to take the high road and make no apology for feeling that it makes me a good person.

I suffer from Social Anxiety, and social distancing has been a way of life for me long before this virus arrived to wreak its terrible havoc. I hate having to go to the grocery store, and have routinely used online shopping as a means of dealing with that. But with all the online delivery slots gone, quite rightly reserved for the elderly and those at very high risk, I have been having to brave the outside world. I do so with trepidation, not about the virus so much as my usual paranoia. When I do go out, I wear a facemask. I know that there are differing viewpoints among scientists and medical professionals as to the effectiveness of masks in protecting the wearer from contracting the virus. But that’s not my reason for wearing it. My own reasons for donning the mask are twofold:

1. To avoid expelling any spittle or other airborne nasties that could potentially contain the pathogen; and,

2. To put others who may pass me in the street, or be queued up with me waiting to get inside the store, at at least some sense of ease that I am not going to be breathing COVID germs into their airspace.

I don’t bear any ill-will to those who choose not to mask-up. As I’ve noted, the jury is still out on masks and, unless the science finds that their use should be made mandatory, I figure it’s the choice of the individual. However, what does piss me off no end are the people who stroll down the street with no protective covering, their noses in their mobile phones and with no awareness of their surroundings. And, I’m sorry to generalise here, but they all seem to be of that certain age group “millenials”. (If you are yourself in this age group but are a socially responsible and commonsense-imbued person, I apologise for maligning your generation! I know #NotAllMillenials 😉). Several times, I have had to hurriedly dance out of their way as they steamroll towards me, oblivious.

Now, okay, I’m wearing a mask, which may or may not protect me from inhaling their potentially harmful air. And, as we’ve established, I am not overly attached to my existence and take an “if it happens, it happens” viewpoint. But how many other people are these phone-besotted individuals running into – quite literally!- on a regular basis? Folks who choose not to wear a facemask, but who very much DO care if they get ill or pass it on to members of their household. (I should probably say at this point that I am shielding on my little lonesome here in my flat.) It angers me that these individuals bear so little regard for how their actions could affect those around them.

Which brings me to America, and the Lockdown Protests. While some of the protesters wear masks and other protective equipment (a strange conundrum when some of them conversely carry signs and shout slogans that COVID-19 is a hoax and a Democrat conspiracy), none of them are practising social distancing. They are creating a perfect petri dish in which to spread the virus.

Thank you for your learned scientific input, Friend. But why, then, the protective suit?


To a large extent (okay, to a complete and utter extent), I don’t care if these people get sick and die. And I know that I’m a nasty, vindictive person for thinking this (I told you I wasn’t Mother Theresa!) However, I most heartily believe that such folks should have to sign a waiver forfeiting their right to treatment if, or as is more likely, when they fall ill. I know that this thinking leads to a slippery slope of deeming myself a worthy arbiter of who “deserves” the right to medical care. And I guess, deep down, I probably believe that people are people, and just because I disagree with them and their politics, I don’t have any right or authority to “play God” (says the atheist) with other people’s lives. But by the same token, what gives the protesters the right to put other people’s lives at risk? What of the doctors and nurses who will be called upon to treat these people? What of all the frontline workers who have no choice but to come into contact with others? I cannot imagine how frightening that must be for them, and to do anything to put them at an even more increased risk seems to me like slapping them in the face. Or, to use a more fitting and literal analogy, spitting a diseased ball of sputum in their faces.

A further factor that really sticks in my craw is that some of these protesters are using the slogan “my body, my choice” – well known to be the argument of the Pro-Choice Movement. Funny that they should (incorrectly) appropriate this slogan for their anti-Lockdown protest, given that when it a uterus-owner arguing for bodily autonomy, these same protesters are the first to attack her. And when I say “funny”, naturally I mean really fucking teeth-clenchingly, fist-curlingly infuriating!!

Rant, rant, rant, Jupiter. I apologise for the length of my diatribe. I realise that as much as anger serves an important function for us, in the current climate, there is a need for us to separate ourselves from feelings of anger and frustration as much as possible. So, if you have read through, I thank you for allowing me to vent my steam (eww, sounds a bit gross), and now I think we all need a cup of tea, a biscuit, and some nice, chilled Enya…. 😉

Stay safe and well, lovely people xx

Food 4 Thought
Food 4 Thought: Lockdown. Click the image to read more posts on the topic of Lockdown.

30 thoughts on “You Make Me Sick- A Rant About Selfishness in the Age of COVID-19

  1. Long time no chat 😉 I do agree with many of your points. I won’t go into politics as I am an American and there is too much hate surrounding that whole subject, so this will address the other parts.

    First- the whole idea of protesting the lockdown is really asinine. These are the people that think our rights of freedom are being infringed upon. If they would actually do what was asked i.e. social distancing and limiting public outings the herd immunity could eventually work.

    Second- it has made me very angry to see even some of my friends jumping in on this- they think that since we don’t have many confirmed cases that it’s fine to wander around the grocery/hardware stores. They don’t have symptoms so they must not be exposed. I want to shake these people or throat punch them. Being Asymptomatic can happen!

    Lastly- this is extremely personal to me because my son is high risk. It’s the whole reason why we haven’t seen S in 6 weeks. He is at risk of exposure every day he goes to work, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he brought it home to our son and something horrible happened to him. Yes it sucks not seeing our loved ones. Some days it is so hard and I want to curl up in a ball and cry. But I remind myself that we do this to protect ourselves and our family.

    P.S. my age group may be classified as Millennial but I’m sure as hell not that kind! Which brings me back to the infamous memes of millennials on spring break- “Most of us are in our 30’s, have kids, bad backs, & are getting laid off from our jobs.” 😉

    Take care lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there. Nice to be here and catch up with you.

      Absolutely – I’d imagine that there’s politics overload at the moment.

      So true. There’s this fixation on “rights” rather than a consideration of “responsibility”, and they kind of go hand in hand! It doesn’t feel like a huge ask for people to consider the safety of others.

      It must be incredibly frustrating to see people you know flouting the lockdown and social distancing in the mistaken idea that because they are not displaying symptoms, then they are no danger. I don’t understand how anyone can still think that- there has been so much said about asymptomatic transmission and the 1-2 week incubation period before symptoms can appear! I feel like it is willful and deliberate ignorance.

      And yes, it is so frustrating for those such as yourself who are really doing everything they can, and enduring being parted from those they love in order to keep those at risk safe. It must be terribly difficult for you both with being separated from S and being worried about ensuring your son stays healthy and protected. My guy, H, has a child with bad asthma and a very elderly, frail father for whom he is a primary carer at the moment as the social and home services are really overstretched, and as a result we are keeping apart, too. And that makes it all the harder to see others ignoring the safety measures and just not seeming to give a damn about anyone but themselves.

      Sending you love and strength. I hope that all your family and loved ones stay safe, and I hope that you get to be back together with S soon xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to do the same silly thing and end up reading all the Twitter threads that just trigger me into wanting to punch people in their faces (says the pacifist).I think we are both lucky for living in countries where people might be grumpy about being unable to live life normally, but I can’t even imagine how scary things are for people with a little bit of intelligence in the USA.
    Yes, there are the millenials (which I belong to too, most of those idiots with their phones are actually Gen Zs!), and the uneducated, who don’t understand the idea of social responsibility and asymptomatic spreading of a virus. You will never ger 100% of people to understand. I think at this point, the majority does though.
    I feel similar too. I don’t care too much if I catch it and if it kills me. I don’t want to suffer though, and sure as hell wouldn’t want lungproblems for the rest of my life. I am high risk too, which has made me a bit more careful. If I leave the house, it is for a short walk, or some time in the garden with proper social distancing, and a mask. Just the small small chance that I am asymptomatic and would make other people sick, gives me anxiety. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for another person’s illness, or death. Scary scary thought! So I do think that a lot of the protestors, and the people who still don’t practice social distancing, are selfish assholes. And I wouldn’t even oppose for them to be persecuted for endangering the lives of others.
    As for the protestors in the USA.That country is a scary place right now. Trump is incompetnt, lying and making everything about him. This pandemic is the end of the power position of the USA in the world. Everyone knows it, just the Americans don’t yet (lol). I wouldn’t want anyone to die because they are brainwashed and uneducated. But, would I feel a bit of goold ole Schadenfreude if some of them got sick? Yeah, I would.
    Thanks for your rant, I very much agree with all of your points. I hope the tea and biscuit were nice ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are so right- we are fortunate not to live in the US, and I feel very sad for those who do!

      Oh, I’m probably not good with the generations! I’m Gen X, and I remember Gen Y, didn’t even realised we’d got to Z! I guess they seem to be mid- to – late 20s or 30-ish. Not young kids, at least. So whatever generation they are. Although, obviously not everyone in an age group are guilty of the same behaviour, I realise. Most people, certainly in my local community, are largely very sensible.

      I also think that the protesters should be fined, jailed, or charged with reckless endangerment or something. They are selfish, self-interested pricks. And that idiot Trump- well his comments yesterday about injecting disinfectant!? He’s really gone into full cult leader mode just like Jim Jones or David Koresh, and he doesn’t even seem to be trying to hide it anymore. Actually chilling!

      Thanks, yes, tea and a biscuit always a welcome stress reliever!

      Stay safe x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Jupiter, why ever did you look at that? Some people are just born idiots. Amazing theories they come up with, and thinking it’s a govt. hoax, what the hell is up with that??? At least in your country, they aren’t marching on your statehouses wearing their bullet proof vests, brandishing their tactical weapons and trying to act badass. And the idiots are not all on one side of the aisle, as they say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a glutton for the grim, it seems! 😉 Yes, the whole military get up and gun-toting bullshit is just dreadful. While we have our share of idiots in the UK, we are indeed fortunate to not have these gun nuts roaming the streets trying to intimidate and to make them feel like big, tough men.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think yours is a righteous vent! I agree with you 100%! I saw a report on those people in the US who say the virus is a hoax, they are a disgrace! And their disrespect to all those who have lost friends and loved ones is utter an unbelievable. Some people can always find ways to go lower and lower! You are absolutely right, Governor of New York Cuomo is right, no one has the right to put others at risk! Great post and well said Jupiter!
    All the best,
    Greetings from ‘recuperating’ Spain,
    Francesc

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think you know I understand what you say about not fearing for yourself, yet caring about limiting your impact on other people. Your reality is very similar to mine and I agree that I have no right for my personal negativity to impact other people, indeed that I have a duty for it not to.

    Take care, stay safe and I really hope things turn around. 🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. We are very much of a similar thinking here: there’s a duty we have to be mindful of the well-being of others, especially those who are particularly vulnerable right now.

      Thank you, Melody, and good health and wellbeing to you, too xx

      Like

  6. No need to apologize. I’m right up there with you. I just recently wrote a similar piece. And so often you and DeviantSuccubus post something that fits so well with my own mindset, I’m convinced you crawled into my brain and put words to what I was feeling. I know I can’t be the only one.

    Like

    1. Absolutely- it’s such a serious threat, it seems so reckless to ignore that. I do sometimes wonder if the inability to recognise the seriousness is a coping mechanism for some people? Perhaps by downplaying the risk in their own mind, some find solace- the classic fingers-in-ears, eyes-squeezed shut and saying “this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening” response! But even if that is the case, I can’t comprehend the refusal to think of other people.

      Thank you, Rebel x

      Like

  7. Go Jupiter – I don’t mind a rant when it comes in an intelligent and organised argument such as the one you have put across here. I agree with many of your points and could add some but this whole situation, along with some other nonsense, has literally worn me down.
    But I was happy to see you post and to read whatever you want to tell us about.
    May xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rant away. This is a healthy space for getting it all out and stewing away does no-one any good. I am finding it really interesting to talk to friends in different countries all around the world about how their lockdowns (or not) are going and about their daily fears and changes, because, although America steals much media time, many people world wide are taking this seriously enough to make a difference to the overall outcomes. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alethea. You’re right – so much focus has been on America’s situation it is easy for coverage of other countries to be ignored. But certainly the vast majority of countries are showing great willing to endure the disruption to life, though for many there is great uncertainty. Thank you for your comments.

      Like

  9. I LOVED THIS POST. I am always down for some political sparring whenever someone is up for it and in most cases more than happy to play devils, advocate. However, these people protesting measures brought in to combat a virus, in doing so dangering so many lives seem to be the same who will spread and believe misinformation about vaccinations. It works under the same umbrella of putting others at risk which is abhorrent. While people will be people and that means making some stupid decisions, I think everyone should be entitled to health care but priorities health care. If they have put themselves and others at undue risk they should be bottom of the list. Still on the list but right at the end.
    This post was insightful and I love how your writing keeps me hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Yes, I think that your suggestion of putting those who have been irresponsible and flouting social distancing rules should still be able to get health care, but at the bottom of the list strikes a good balance.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s