Ashok B. Boghani

Jan 1, 2021

3 min read

Irresponsibility during Covid times

As I write this Blog Post, the daily number of new Covid cases in US has remained close to 200,000 and deaths have surpassed 340,000. If you look at the maps of new cases and listen to the health officials, there is no doubt that travel and gatherings for Thanksgiving contributed to the latest surge. CDC continues to urge folks to follow three simple guidelines: (1) Do not travel, (2) wear a mask when outside, and (3) avoid large gatherings of friends and family.

Did we learn those lessons after the Thanksgiving surge? Hell no. Just look at the images of millions of people at the airport during Christmas time, carrying about as if the Corona Crisis has passed.

So, what is going to happen now? Yet another bump on the top of the recent surge. More deaths, more lockdowns, more businesses bankrupt, and additional untold misery.

I am angry, and I don’t lose my temper that easily.

If you ask people why they travelled, knowing what havoc it is likely to cause in January, they will all have a convincing answer.

We took all the precautions. Yes, I am sure you did but there is no question that you exposed yourself more than if you had obeyed the guideline and stayed home. Combine your action with that with all the other travelers and you will be a contributor to the inevitable next surge.

We had to see our friends, and family members. What exactly is “had to”? Couldn’t it wait? If the friend or family member was in deathbed, it is one thing, but I bet that was not the case (in most instances).

It is a tradition in our family to have a big meal. Is it also a tradition to infect your grandma and grandpa?

Don’t single us out, we did what lots of others did. This reminds me of the Tragedy of the Common in which eachperson allowed his cow to graze with no control, saying that the other person was doing that. The result? No grass was left and every cow starved.

We did not know that our action would cause a surge in cases. Yes, you did. There was the Thanksgiving bump to tell you what would happen if people didn’t listen to health officials.

We are tired of being cooped up. Sure, you are but don’t you think we are too? A medical doctor put it, “if you are tired, put yourself in our shoes, working without a break day and night.”

Of course, we are a country where no one can tell the others what to do. In some places, staying home means staying home. If you are under quarantine, your phone is tracked and if it goes outside your home, someone pays a visit. If you are not home, you pay a huge fine. That country is Taiwan which has hardly had any deaths. Can we do something like that in US? Not a chance. We can’t even tell people to wear masks.

When individualism becomes irresponsible, we all pay a price. I hope that we begin the new year with that realization and pay more attention the society instead of just ourselves.