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People Are Dying so I Don't Care If I Hurt Your Feelings

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Wear a mask. Stay inside. If you don’t, you’re being selfish.

I don’t care if I hurt your feelings. There, I said it. I’m tired. I’m truly exhausted, like to the core exhausted. The kind of exhausted that all the caffeine and sleep-ins won’t fix. It feels like I’m living in an endless loop of having the same frustrations and same infuriating conversations everyday.

The entire COVID-19 pandemic has been very difficult. And I know there are plenty of people who are doing what they can– staying home, wearing masks, only going out for necessities. These are all great things and I don’t want to discount their efforts but it is so disheartening to continuously see the even greater amount of people who aren’t only disregarding these things, but are actively causing damage.

People are dying. People are literally getting sick and they are dying. By the thousands. By the hundreds of thousands, and due to COVID-19 safety protocols, their families can’t even attend their funerals. I am so frustrated because I don’t know how to tell you that you need to care about other people.

I have had family members contract COVID-19 because their roommates didn’t care and went out to restaurants, saw friends and had parties only to come home and infect their entire house. I’ve had other family members who know this but still continue to go out to restaurants everyday and still have people over because “it’s fine– it’s just a few people. We can’t just put life on hold forever”.  We aren’t taking this seriously because all the bad stuff that’s happening is happening to “other people” and we think that we are invincible. We are not. We are all “other people” to other people.

Stop being selfish. Wear a damn mask. Stay inside. Stop having in-person gatherings. Stop going to see your friends. Stop. Just stop. It is literally a global pandemic and it has been going on for almost a year one– the least you can do is stay inside.  Please, please learn to care about the lives of other people more than you care about slight inconveniences to yourself. You matter, but you’re not the only one that matters.

You are allowed to feel frustrated. You can feel annoyed and uncomfortable in a mask. You can feel all of your feelings– anxiety, anger, frustration, confusion about why the rules are what they are. Sure, feel all of those, but still wear a mask. Still stay inside. Continue to isolate. You’re allowed to feel your feelings but what you aren’t allowed to do is put other people’s lives at risk because it adds a slight inconvenience to your life.

Do I sound angry? That’s because I am. You can have your own personal feelings but how you act on those are a different story. You don’t want to wear a mask? Stay inside. You want to see your friends? Have a Zoom call. You can still feel all your feelings, but they are not an excuse for your irresponsible actions because you are putting other people at risk. You and your feelings are not more important than Every. Other. Person.

Feel your feelings. Be annoyed. Be angry. Feel frustrated, but do the right thing anyways. The world doesn’t revolve around you and your feelings. Your irresponsibility is putting the lives of others at risk and are actively cancelling out all the good that others are doing to try and fight this pandemic.

If you don’t “believe” in COVID-19, I pray that you and your family never contract it. I hope that you don’t have to experience the pain of not being able to breathe. I pray that you don’t have to feel the unmeasurable pain of having your heart torn to shreds from losing a dear friend or family member to a disease that we don’t fully understand, unable to see them in their final, painful moments; unable to have the support of your friends and family as they are lowered into the ground; the guilt of knowing that you are part of the problem.

If you’re doing everything right– keep doing it. I see you. I thank you.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Originally published: December 2, 2020
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