While scrolling through social media every few weeks, I see a new large party or gathering — in a pandemic! Some celebrities aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, so why should you? We have grown tired of the pandemic and have gotten lazy with the recommendations, while healthcare workers are still putting their lives on the line to save others. We need to ask ourselves this: are we being as responsible for our safety and for the safety of others around us as we can be?
Earlier in the semester, I created a podcast for JRN 411, titled “This Medicine Matters.” It focuses on three healthcare workers who do not work in a hospital. The podcast details the experience of all three workers from the start of the pandemic to where the country is currently. Although not all of the healthcare workers belong to the same field of medicine, they all agree on one thing: now more than ever, there is a collective responsibility that exists amongst all of us in order to stay safe and healthy. As the United States reaches 100,000 new cases in a day for the second time, it becomes clear to me from the large gatherings I see on social media that many of us still do not understand how serious of an issue this is. One of the healthcare workers featured on my podcast, Christina Baker, discussed the feelings she has while working her part-time job at Target when she sees people who still are not taking heed of the recommended guidelines.
“As a healthcare professional working in that kind of setting, it’s upsetting to me because people don’t realize we’re not doing it to punish you, we’re doing it to save lives; if not your life, someone else’s.”
In my opinion, I feel it comes off as a little disrespectful to healthcare workers. They are risking their lives to save others, while some of us are still disregarding what healthcare officials have suggested. I can say that I’m disappointed with the changes that have come about because of the pandemic, specifically the changes to my education experience. However, I understand that if I ever want to return to the way it was, attending large gatherings or parties, ignoring recommendations is not the way to do it. It saddens me when those I see at these large gatherings are the same ones to also complain that they want their lives to return to normal. It is apparent that since this pandemic has started, we have stopped seeing how our actions affect others. Nonetheless, it is essential to our health that we all become more aware. With how rapidly this virus has spread across the world and how many lives were lost, it is essential that people be more mindful of how they are affecting those around them. When I was in elementary school, there were many times when one of my classmates would be talking when we weren’t supposed to, and because the teacher couldn’t pinpoint who it was, we all were punished. This relates to the current situation because if one person is careless with following guidelines, they have the potential to harm so many others around them.
I will leave you with this: in order to begin to safely enjoy those large gatherings we all love so much, we must first protect ourselves and those around us. The only way the country can start to combat the virus is if everyone is on the same page and works together.
If you are interested in this topic and want to hear more about the experience of the healthcare workers featured in the podcast, you can visit https://soundcloud.com/quarantinequotes/pregnancy-during-a-pandemic to listen to it.
Alyssa Baker is a third-year Media and Culture major with minors in Journalism and American Sign Language. AB911560@wcupa.edu