It wasn’t always like this.
There was a point in my life when I liked football, but I wasn’t a rabid fan like I am now. I think fantasy football really helped bring that out in me. When I discovered that it allowed me to appreciate players who aren’t on my favorite NFL team. Now, you can find me cheering on individual players, and hoping certain defenses come up with turnovers.
This is especially relevant right now, as my Eagles are stinking up the joint.
But I bring it up only to show that sometimes seeing things through a different perspective can change everything. I had a phone conversation with my sister yesterday about how it would be really easy to judge the individuals who crowded airports over the Thanksgiving holiday, the ones who are probably spreading the virus like crazy right now.
There are spikes all over the place, and I was talking about how it’s these people who feel they can do the “business as usual” route when it comes to filling shopping malls, airplanes, and various other venues. But she told me something I hadn’t really thought too much about. She said that we can’t put all the blame on the individuals. Yes, they are endangering others with their behavior, but many of them don’t know any better. Yes, my sister and I read every article about the virus, how it’s spread, how to try to avoid it, how to protect ourselves and others, the numbers, and all of that, but how many people do you know who don’t read?
It’s true that they should read. It’s true that they should take it to heart. But what have we been doing for the over 240 years that we’ve been a country? This country has all been about the individual, and individual rights. Sure, we enjoy collective rights, but we have long prided ourselves on being the “me first” country, and here it is coming back at us. Think about it. I have rights. You have rights. You can’t infringe upon my individual rights as a citizen of this country and make me do what I don’t want to do. I’m not at-risk like so many others, so I’m going to do what I want to do.
Yikes. I can see now why this is so widespread, especially right here in the ol’ US of A. We’ve put ourselves as a country squarely in this position, and now we’re whining about being in it. I can only imagine how it will be once we’re out of this pandemic. I can only imagine some people putting blame for the whole thing squarely on those who aren’t following the science guidelines. But I can’t do it. We set ourselves up for this, and now I’m just praying we don’t forget it once this is over, that we stay ever vigilant.
Now, where did I put my “fancy” sweatpants?