This pandemic is really showing people in their true light. It doesn’t take a lot, it appears, before people double down on being total dicks.
In our apartment building, we essentially have two tribes occupying the same space. On the one hand, we have the people who are going out of their way to help others, to abide by the ‘new normal’ and to attempt to remain cheerful in the face of adversity.
This tribe includes our totally amazing building management staff, who run the reception, deal with the post and take care of security.
Unfortunately, they’re also at the sharp edge of dealing with the other tribe. The neighbours who think the rules don’t apply to them and whose anti-social nonsense continues – increases even! – in the middle of a global emergency.
Some of these people have verbally abused the staff when they’ve been reminded of our new situation and how we all need to change our behaviour. Some of these neighbours continue to live as they have before, with an utter disregard for everyone else in the community.
Let’s face it: being stuck at home, away from your family and friends and unable to socialise normally sucks. But it’s a lot better than catching this virus or being a carrier and passing it on to the most vulnerable in our community, including frontline NHS staff.
Yet in just the last few days, some of our neighbours have:
– Held a children’s party (utter madness)
– Had large groups of family to visit
– Continued to play doubles tennis with residents from other apartments
– Hung around chatting in our foyer, blocking the main entrance
I get it. This weird and restrictive situation is awful. But it’s also the time when we need to be even more mindful of those around us and be socially-minded, not focused merely on personal enjoyment.
I’m conscious this sounds like such a first world whine. But I’m also aware it’s a microcosm of what’s going on across the UK right now. People are continuing to do as they feel, despite all pleas to the contrary. They’re gathering in the park. They’re exercising in groups. They’re visiting friends. They’re having barbecues.
The bottom line is this: if you’re continuing to mix socially, you’re not only being a prick, you’re also lengthening this lockdown period of everyone.
When I go out for my daily run, I see the same thing. Half the runners and walkers are very aware of personal space, the other half behave as if they own the path and walk three and four-abreast. It’s really infuriating, but if I stopped to argue with everyone that does it, I’d never get home again…
So I suppose this is my way of letting off some of the steam I really want to direct at the other people in my apartment building. And even if it never gets read, I feel better already.
Please: stay at home and this will all be over a lot sooner.