Social Distancing Shouldn’t Be Cruel

We are living in an extremely stressful and unusual times with the corona virus outbreak (COVID-19).

With the majority of schools, restaurants, bars, retail stores, small businesses, etc…. closing – this means people are not only facing financial hardships, the emotional well-being of individuals is at risk too.

Unfortunately we’re also witnessing the ugly side of people, as they scour to get the last of the toilet paper, or treat cashiers with rudeness blaming them when a store is out of items they need.

I’ve seen all this happening and it’s really disturbing. One patron at our local grocery store literally called a girl that was bagging his food a retard!

Does he get a pass for being stressed out in this trying time? Absolutely not! This young girl is special needs and has been working in our local store for almost a year – she’s very proud of the work she does.

She didn’t let him phase her, but later told one of our neighbors how hurtful it was. This crisis is not an excuse for cruel and mean behavior.

An important lesson we all must be mindful of is our kids, as well as many that are now out of school, are watching how adults are behaving. As that man insulted a special needs person doing her job, what message did that send out to young people that may have witnessed it?

Especially during this time of uncertainty – we all need to be conscious of how we treat others, there are many young eyes that are impressionable. Never doubt, you are your child’s biggest influence.

Social awareness – not social shaming

If you are someone who is quick to judge others for their behavior—maybe they are in a bar or any public area where you believe they shouldn’t be, and you are going to publicly shame them digitally—take the time to reconsider. Maybe they have a reason to be there or maybe it’s none of your business.

Please remember when things go viral, it can impact a person’s future. Their ability to get a job could be jeopardized or the job they have could be at risk.

It’s not about condoning bad behavior, it’s about being compassionate and empathetic  to other people’s needs, and understanding what they might be going through, especially if we don’t know them or the reason they are doing what you deem is wrong.

The aim and shame society

Maybe a person is in public place such as a bar (though people are being told to stay home) waiting to pick up food? Maybe they are delivering supplies to the establishment. Could someone have been hired to fix a broken pipe? A person doing a good deed could potentially be cyber-shamed because someone was quick to make a rash judgment, thinking they were saving the world.

This was actually posted on a comment section of a recent article:

I will show up and video them and post it online and shame them and destroy their reputations forever. The internet never forgives and the internet never forgets.

Like people who need to buy larger quantities at stores, let’s be slow to judge and take time to consider before we use our keypads as weapons.

Begin NextDoor

Social distancing can also bring out kindness. This was posted on our local NextDoor app. Instead of finding ways to hurt or harm others, find ways to help them during these uncertain times. Original copy in Psychology Today.