The advance of COVID-19 has triggered a broad-scale mission of “responsibilization”. In Sri Lanka, as the spread of Covid accelerates and the frightening new airborne variant amps up our infection rate putting a strain on our already stretched, hard-working and efficient health care service, the task force and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have asked citizens to be responsible and adhere to the health and safety regulations that are in place to protect everyone and stop the spread. A sensible, fair request and easy enough to stick to as the protocols are not excessively restrictive and we haven’t gone into a full lockdown.
Political leaders, health experts and even celebrities, neighbors and loved ones have called upon us all to act responsibly in order to slow the spread of the virus, and to minimize the damaging effects of the pandemic.
So What Do I Mean When I Talk About Covidiocy?
“The Macmillan Dictionary defines 'covidiot’ as ‘an insulting term for someone who ignores health advice about COVID-19.’ Urban Dictionary takes a pretty similar approach, defining 'covidiot’ as ‘someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety.’
Basically, “a covidiot doesn’t’t take COVID-19 and the risks of the virus seriously, despite what Government Officials and the global health community say. At the same time, they may also engage in selfish behavior that doesn’t’t look out for the greater good when it comes to slowing down and stopping the spread of the coronavirus,” Health.com
The reckless and selfish behavior witnessed after these requests horrified many, including myself, when we saw huge numbers of people ignoring government advice and enjoying a long weekend break in Nuwara Eliya; maskless masses swarming the city and its Horse Races. People in national parks and beaches (to a lesser degree) but still proudly flaunting their Covidiocy on social media sites with wanton abandon. These people swim in the shallow end of the brain pool and are proud of it, was the subliminal messaging.
It’s also incredibly repulsive to hear so many moaning about possibly having to forego their weekends away, their large birthday parties and social gatherings, mind you having seen some of the outfits worn at these large gatherings I couldn’t help but wonder if they were hoping to scare Covid away with their ghastly sartorial choices.
Don’t even get me started on those people who know they’ve come into contact with someone who’s tested positive and are running around to dinner parties and shopping instead of self-isolating. It’s hard to fathom educated people behaving in such an irresponsible way, in fact it’s down-right disgusting.
If you have a large social media following and are an influencer think about what you post, your vacation pictures might actively encourage people to risk their lives and the lives of those around them, so wake up and use your platforms for the greater good in the short term.
Most of us are feeling extremely anxious because it’s indisputably frightening and none of us, not even the world’s top scientific experts, knows how bad it will get before it gets better. But there’s one thing we must ALL do and that’s get a collective grip, stop being covidiots, adopt the - we’re in this together - mentality which means making sacrifices in the short term, so that we can ALL come out of this on the other side.
In neighboring India the situation is absolutely heartbreaking with a daily average of 300,000+ new cases, people dying in the streets and grieving families having to cremate loved ones in their gardens. The next two weeks is going to be hell for India and absolutely critical. The next couple of weeks are also going to be critical for us, so let’s all do our bit to ensure that we don’t end up in the same boat.
In many ways, we’re the most self-absorbed generation ever to walk the earth despite, or perhaps because pre-Covid there’s never been a healthier, safer, more prosperous time to be alive. This has unfortunately, bred a sense of security and complacency that is now being sorely tested. To put it bluntly, we’re all going to have stop being so awfully selfish. I love a good party as much as the next person, but these days attending one, dressed to kill might actually end up killing you.