Do crises show our true colours as human beings?

We are all designed with self-preservation instincts. It’s natural to want to provide for and protect ourselves and our loved ones. However, there’s a moment when self-preservation turns into complete selfishness.

This corona virus outbreak is showing that there are different types of people responding in different ways.

  1. The self-serving panic-buyer. The things that people need on a day-to-day basis have disappeared from shops because people refuse to think of others. Some panic-buyers are doing it simply because others are doing it. Things like toilet roll, antibac products, milk, dried food, even nappies and baby formula for crying out loud! Why would someone buy so many baby items that there aren’t any left for others? Do your normal weekly shop and stop crippling other families!
  2. The despicable greed that some bulk-buyers are showing by buying all they can – not because they are panicking, but because they want to make money. I saw some toilet rolls on eBay for over £200! What??? Panic-buying for yourself is bad enough, but buying out a store just to make money from scared and vulnerable people is beyond greedy. I hope they are ashamed of themselves, but I guess they won’t be. That kind of greed comes from people who don’t care about others or have any kind of social conscience.
  3. The arrogant, selfish, stupid people who are spreading the virus, unintentionally or otherwise. We’ve all seen/heard of people deliberately trying to infect others. That’s one thing, and completely despicable, but there’s the other side of the coin – people who are showing symptoms, or living with people that are, and then still going to work, to school, to the shops, or travelling. My son went to our local store, but stopped before he even went inside. An obviously unwell woman was coughing all over the shelves! Stupidity? Ignorance? Selfishness? We’ll never know, because my son turned tail and came back home. Could this virus have been slowed, or even nipped in the bud, if people had been more vigilant?
  4. And then there are those who are showing unselfish kindness by sharing what meagre supplies they have with others in need. As long as this is done responsibly, it could help vulnerable people to stay safe if they don’t have to venture out in search of supplies. Others are looking after vulnerable family and neighbours by shopping for them. Unfortunately, this also carries risk of bringing contaminated goods into the home, but we can only do so much because of the aforementioned problem. I don’t think it’s too much to steralise all groceries and leave them on the doorstep if possible.

How long do viruses live on surfaces

This outbreak has certainly shown people’s true colours, for better or worse.

I received a newsletter from Morrisons this morning, stating that they are doing their best to stock their shelves and widen their delivery areas so they can help provide for even more vulnerable people. I’m sure other stores are doing the same thing. I have deep respect and gratitude for anyone who is still working in shops and other places, putting themselves at risk to make sure we all have what we need.

My GP surgery is now cutting down on visits, preferring telephone appointments where necessary, which is understandable. But when I phoned to ask for a prescription for my asthmatic son, they refused to do it over the phone and said I had to go down there to ask for it! My son and I are both in the vulnerable group and they know that, so why would they stop surgery visits but make people go in person to request a prescription? It doesn’t make sense! We all need to adapt, even if just temporarily, until this crisis is over. If that means bending or changing the rules for a while, then do it!

At the moment, we are not using Freecycle or similar programs. Everything that comes into our home from outside is being sterilised, even groceries/supplies, especially those ordered online. For once, paranoid is good, but use it to protect, not obsess – most people, it seems, will get and survive this virus, but protecting as many vulnerable people as possible is the goal, not hiding away with as many supplies as possible, or trying to profit from others’ misery.

Listen to government guidelines. Follow their advice and keep yourselves and your loved one’s as safe as possible. Take great care to protect vulnerable people because every life counts!