This entire year has been something of a whirlwind for everybody and a source of frustration for many, though not all for the same reason. My points of frustration have been from those exhibiting an unwillingness to join in the effort to ensure everyone’s safety or being reluctant to learn the new skills it takes to exist in this new way of doing things. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work from home and thus avoid a large brunt of what is happening, but I know many, my wife included, that do not have that luxury. To say nothing of the people that will not listen to scientists and experts informing them that the old way of going out is going to get people sick, the open hostility to these opinions and attempts to safeguard everyone is extremely upsetting at times. My wife has been berated, coughed on deliberately, and made to feel like a lesser person for asking them to do something as simple as put on a mask while in the store she is working at. This reckless and anti-intellectual behavior has led to two of the four employees of this establishment to be in quarantine with my wife waiting to hear the results of their tests. By doing this, it has put our entire family in jeopardy because some folks will not put on a mask despite being legally obliged to wear clothing, something they seem to have no problem with.

I work at a non-profit helping students learn financial literacy, something I have been doing for some time now so I am intimately aware of the challenges we face in these times. However, this has been compounded by some of the same mentality that also leads to people being unwilling to learn the new skills needed to be able to cope with the situation we find ourselves in. This is different from those who want to learn, but are struggling with things like learning the technology we have been using to be able to work remote, some will actively turn the help away and even demean you for trying.

This is not to say it has been all bad, there has been some good to come out of this situation. I do get a sense that despite the folks not listening to science that there is a louder undercurrent of people rediscovering a sense of community and mutual cooperation that had been absent from our discourse for a long time. It feels like there could be a movement towards being better to one another and taking actions like universal healthcare spurred from the renewed sense of being in this together and not letting something like a person’s financial standing be an arbiter of the care they should receive. Seeing this reaction in people has given me hope that once we get through this, and we will, that maybe we can do a little better at looking out for each other.