I still remember when I was a child and my class was learning about fire drills. We were taught that during a fire drill, we were to queue up in an orderly fashion by the door before leaving the building. We were taught this because if we were to all panic and run to the door at the same time, there would be crowding and it would be difficult to exit. Ultimately, instead of just thinking about our own survival, we had to take into consideration the survival of our entire class. By thinking of others, we, in turn, made sure each and every one of us survived a potential fire.
As we’ve noticed in recent weeks, the real world isn’t as thoughtful as a child’s classroom. The moment people are faced with their own mortality they can become very selfish and inconsiderate. The shelves are empty at supermarkets across the globe by people who don’t actually need to stockpile because they’ve been consumed in fear. Fear can make us greedy, and also stupid. I went out to the supermarket three nights in a row because I couldn’t find everything I needed. I exposed myself three nights in a row because other people decided they needed to stock their pantries to have enough food until Christmas. I don’t have any symptoms and I do appear to be healthy, however, I could unknowingly be an asymptomatic carrier. I could unknowingly pass on the virus to that stockpiler’s mum or aunt. Furthermore, those stockpilers left the shelves empty for hospital staff and other essential workers who are responsible for caring for those infected; which again could be a loved one of the stockpiler, or even the stockpiler themselves.
Then, there are people who are still going to parks, beaches, and markets in big groups. They have the mentality of “it won’t affect me. I’m young/healthy/immortal. Yes, you could get it and be fine; but you have to know someone who could potentially die from the virus. I’m in the UK right now. I’m an ocean away from my at-risk loved ones, so thankfully there is no chance I could infect them. However, I’m completely aware I could infect someone else’s loved one, and I don’t want to do that. The faster we socially isolate the faster they can contain the virus and the faster we can get out of this mess with minimal life lost. People who aren’t social distancing are just prolonging this hell and forcing governments to take stricter measures. Thousands of people are dying, and yet still many are only looking out for themselves. We're a selfish species, and because of that we're all going to suffer.
Although, we were not always greedy. Thousands of years ago when humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies and smaller bands, they shared everything. There was no self-entitlement and they all worked for and with each other. There was no war and no bloodshed. People were happier then because they knew that serving others explicitly served themselves as well.