SOMETIMES I despair for the future of the human race. As I write, Mijas and many other municipalities are suspending all activities, closing schools, day centres and sports facilities and cancelling all events in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Yet still I am asked questions such as, ‘I am due to come to Spain next week with a sick child. What should I do?’ or ‘Will the bars be closed as my local has a band coming this weekend and it is going to be really busy?’
I resisted getting into the whole coronavirus debate for as long as possible so as not to add to the general hysteria it created. I had no interest in arguing the toss about the details with people who often knew less than I did, and that’s not a lot.
How can people have such strong opinions about things, and then be incapable of taking simple precautions to keep themselves safe. What has our society come to when we cannot make the simplest, clearest of decisions for ourselves and feel the need to ask local elected members what they should do?
No one likes to have their plans and neat ordered lives disrupted. Sometimes there is a financial cost of course, but the possibility of being stuck in a country, in quarantine, with no insurance and sick family members also has a cost: insurance companies are excluding coronavirus from their cover.
Who is responsible? Is it social media baffling us with bad and good information in equal measure, and confusing opinions with facts? Is it the press, more interested in creating fear and panic, rather than calmly reporting the news? Is it the nanny state, looking after us from cradle to grave and, in the process, taking away our ability to think and act for ourselves? Or, are we doing this to ourselves? Does hedonism and ego lead us to believe that nothing should get in the way of our right to have a good time?
The panic buying reported across Europe is testament to the philosophy that ‘my needs exceed your needs’, although it has been a bonus for toilet roll manufacturers. Stocking up on rice from China and pasta from Italy will certainly help to boost those troubled economies. We think we are so advanced as a society and these types of events show us who we really are and that we have not learned that ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one’.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not proposing that it is possible to manufacture an egalitarian society. But surely it should not be beyond us to put our own wants aside, temporarily, for the benefit of others.
So let’s just stop focussing solely on our own needs and wants for a couple of weeks and get through this together.