The isolation of Covid-19 has done incredible things to us as human beings. Not only do our hands need washing, but it seems our morals need a rinse as well
I recently flew from Sydney to Melbourne with my 2 year old in an airport that was basically a ghost town. In the bathroom was a woman in her 40’s who was washing her hands, completing the allocated time, the right amount of soap and the correct wringing of the knuckles to get through every, tiny crevice.
Then she left the bathroom. With the tap running at full facet. Unashamed. Unapologetic. Leaving me to ‘risk’ myself to do the right thing and actually turn the tap off. Her morals had deserted her. It was her survival that mattered and NOTHING ELSE.
Our news and social media are filled with tales of women beating each other for toilet roles and elderly people elbowed out of the way. The shops have been emptied by the ‘haves’ while the ‘have not’s’ slip through the cracks towards unemployment and financial hardship. People struggle to make eye contact, walk around each other and seem to have forgotten that isolation doesn’t actually mean ignoring people in public.
Indeed, today in Woolworths I heard a shopper say ‘Can I call you.. I’m just panic buying’.
It’s enough to make you lose your faith in humanity and actually believe that all people are simply jerks.
Glass half empty. Definitely.
I scrolled my media, looked around me and felt my heart sink. Surely, this should be a time of connection and bonding together, even if we have to do it via a screen.
To cope, I did what any normal, level-headed woman in her 40’s would do. I dosed up on chocolate mousse and lost myself in youtube videos. Whilst comforted by hours of cute puppies doing floppsy things, my facebook messenger started to beep… again….
It was another friend of mine in the arts. Just checking if I was ok. And mentioning that she lived with a boy and so if I need a toilet roll or two, she could manage with just 4 rolls.
And it shocked me. And surprised me. And stopped my little broken heart in its tracks.
So I ventured back onto Facebook. I’ve worked in the arts for over 20 years and most of my digital friends are in that sector.
And what I saw… was generosity. And laughter. And commoradory. And Care.
All this from a sector that struggles for income at the best of times. That adversity is a job description and has been nothing short of annihilated by Covid-19. Yet post, after post, after post was people making jokes, offering support, doing deeds in the community and providing the hope that I had lost in Woolworths.
And I saw the hope too. I found the faith in humanity again. From the sector struggling the most.
I implore people at the moment to care for those in the arts, as we care for each other. Take notice of these people, they are upholding the honour in human behaviour and making this pandemic bearable… even funny.
They have done more than filled my glass half full. They have filled the sink!