Every time humanity has faced a crisis, we’ve had people with ignorant opinions. We all know those- blinded by their privilege and constantly assuming that everyone is in the same shoes as them. With these #goodvibesonly living embodiments of toxic positivity, Covid-19 has been no exception.
Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of Covid-19 related deaths and domestic violence.
The most popular of these privileged stances is “maybe we needed this pandemic to understand gratitude and love.” As of the 3rd of June 2021, about 3.35 Lakh Indians have died due to Covid-19. Millions of those who haven’t died are left with long-term respiratory issues. As the world screams “stay home, stay safe,” the victims of abusive households and domestic violence don’t find safety in their homes. Migrant workers across the country are stuck and waiting to reach their homes and health care workers are mentally and physically exhausted. People have lost landmark years of their lives while their mental health deteriorates exponentially.
It is disrespectful to say that we ‘needed’ all this agony for a kind of profound epiphany. There is nothing wrong with having grown as a person in the pandemic. What is wrong is aiming to generalize that and stating that the virus has done well for the world while millions fight it and its effects on their lives every single day. The opinion invalidates those struggling by implying that their struggles are for some sort of greater good. This pandemic not for flaunting deep ideologies on Twitter. It is one of the worst things we have seen and will see in our lifetimes.
Another common opinion comes from those determined to make sure everyone follows the rules without considering if they have the means to do so. People angrily fight those who go to work or use the local train without considering that they may not even have the choice to not do so. Not everyone can afford that privilege. Not those who have rent to pay and children to feed.
The ones who deserve to be spoken against are arrogant bosses who threaten to cut pay for leaves in a pandemic and force people to come to office even if their family members have tested positive. Most of the social media warriors who go around attacking the employees who are not at fault tend to look at everything at surface level. It is a human tendency to ignore problems that arise from systems that benefit us. It is our responsibility to grow past that and understand all perspectives before forming stringent opinions. It is absolutely essential to do your own research before drawing any conclusion.
Looking past the film that your privilege has created and acknowledging it may change your mind in a lot of situations. In a time this awful, the last thing we should do is form and spread ignorant opinions. As Covid-19 haunts everyone who has seen it, the best we can do is hold hands together and be there for each other.