The 3 Ugly Truths COVID-19 Revealed About Us
COVID-19 has revealed many things about the nature of humans, many of them being negative. Here are the three things I have found through my observations.
Not too long ago, I was on a podcast talking about why I still have trust in humanity. Although my opinion has not shifted, I question how much trust I have.
In my small bubble of life, I am fortunate enough to still see glimpses of goodness. An example of this is the man I walk past every day on the way to work. We have never known one another, but he takes the time to say good morning and say something warm and funny to brighten the day.
For me, this is a huge thing. I come from London, which is a city full of people too busy to even look at you and say sorry after bumping into you. So, seeing this friendly gesture is a sign that there are still good people out there.
However, COVID-19 has not brought out the best from humanity. If anything, we should all be embarrassed at how we have handled the situation. You would think with all the intelligence we have in the world we would be more civilised and work together.
But if there is one thing we know, it is that fear brings out the worst in people. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck fear into many of our lives, and we all responded in different ways. However, the vast majority of us acted selfishly and ended up doing more damage than good.
Over the past year and a half, COVID-19 has revealed three things about human nature that we should take note of. Although they are all negative, we can learn from them and think about how we ought to respond in the presence of fear.
Fear Drives Selfishness
One of the first things I can remember from COVID-19 was the panic buying right at the beginning. Here in the UK, we saw toilet tissue and hand sanitiser missing from our shelves.
Many grocery stores had to respond by setting a limit on how many items people could buy. Even then, people were still finding a way around it by venturing to many stores to get the same product.
At the time, I did not think much of it. However, looking back on it, it is shocking behaviour. To think people were travelling around the UK to all the different stores to get a maximum number of items is astonishing.
To make it worse. Some people were even sleeping outside stores in their cars to be the first ones in. They too were seeking to get as much as they could without thinking about others.
Imagine the efforts these people had to go through to carry out a selfish act of bulk buying. Fear drove many to act like animals scavenging for food, and it left many people hungry.
When we are in the presence of fear, we often only think about ourselves. That is because we are putting our own lives first due to beliefs that something bad could happen.
However, when we do this, we lose sight of the dependency we have on others. For example, many toilet tissue suppliers ran out of supply due to the amount of buying. Unfortunately, that took toilet tissue off British shelves for quite some time.
Thanks to losing sight of our dependency on others (the supplier), the UK ended up in a worse off position. In moments of fear, we must acknowledge that others are feeling the same thing we are. We must understand that we are not alone and that we are stronger together.
Fear Drives Unhelpfulness
Thanks to fear bringing out the selfish side in us, we also become unhelpful individuals. However, it was sad to see it to the extent it was portrayed in COVID-19.
I remember seeing an old lady struggling to take her bag to the cars. She was stopping every 10–15 seconds for a break, and you could see she was in distress. Yet still, many people just walked past her, and some even socially distanced themselves.
Now I get it, COVID-19 and all of that stuff. But I did not expect to see something as terrible as this. Thankfully, someone went over to her before I got out of the car I was in, but I was disgusted.
Although this is the worst act I have seen, I could tell you many more times where people were unwilling to offer a helping hand. At a time where there was much uncertainty, people who could help others decided to hide and only help themselves.
In moments of fear, even our leaders let us down and repeatedly did unhelpful things. Such as making false promises and breaking the rules they set.
Actively choosing to be unhelpful only leads us to become dissatisfied with our own lives. Humans are givers at heart because we are pack animals. In moments of fear, it is essential to understand that our good actions go further in these times.
People will always need help whether the times are good or bad. However, if we seek to make a difference, we should seek to be helpful when the times are against us.
Fear Drives Anger
I have never seen so much outrage and bickering amongst people during COVID-19. Not to mention a rise in the number of protests and people doing things to cause havoc on the streets.
Anger is often a terrible emotion to act upon because it is part of our defence mechanism to protect ourselves. When we are angry, we often seek to harm other individuals to protect people we care about and our own lives.
When we are fearful, anger is not a rare emotion to see. We try to prove we are not afraid by demonstrating anger.
But anger has driven humanity to terrible places. In the past, this looked like war. Now, it is verbal abuse over the internet, looking down on others, and a lack of patience to listen to others.
Even I have felt more anger during the COVID-19 period. It is often in response to what I am seeing. Yet, even this is not good.
When we are angry, we fail to see the bigger picture. We often zoom in on one thing and blow it out of proportion which causes our emotions to boil over. And we all know that when emotions are high, actions tend to never be helpful.
In fearful situations, we need to ask ourselves the question: “Am I blowing this out of proportion?” In most cases, the answer is yes.
I am still optimistic for humanity as a whole. Yet, managing fear appears to be a challenging thing to do. Sadly, COVID-19 has brought about the worst in humanity. But for some, it has done the opposite.
This article has only highlighted the negatives, but I am also aware of triumphant stories that have brought a smile to my face. So, keep your eyes open for another article on how COVID-19 has brought out the best in some of us.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.