A crisis like this makes it easy to pass judgment on human nature. There have been many people in my life commenting on how situations like this bring out the “bad” side of people. I think I agree, but it’s hard to judge a person’s intentions. Does a crisis like this bring out the worst or simply reveal a person’s true character? Do people rise to the occasion or do what’s in their selfish best interest?
On top of that, how do we know people are being selfish? It’s easy to assume that the person buying three Costco size packages of toilet paper is hoarding, but there’s also plenty of reasonable explanations. Maybe they’re buying for other people who can’t leave their homes for fear of getting sick? Maybe they have a really big family or run some sort of group home? I know that I tried to buy three bags of dog food because I have two huge dogs that eat a lot of food and I didn’t want to have to deal with Costco any more than necessary. As with most things in life, not everything is always as it seems.
I believe that most people do the right thing most of the time, but that’s because of societal pressure. The cynic in me says that at the end of the day, if society crumbles, people are mostly going to do what’s best for them, but should there be any other expectation? I can’t say that I would feel benevolent or make altruistic decisions if I felt they might jeopardize the well-being of me and my family. If society were to crumble, survival of the fittest would once again be the rule of law.
Luckily, we’re still a long way from a societal collapse. In this crisis, I think we need to have a little patience, give people the benefit of doubt, and try to help out our fellow neighbor wherever we can. If we do those three things, I think we can all work together to get through this and minimize the impact of the coronavirus. Let’s work together to prevent societal collapse because no one wants that.