Does Covid-19 bring out the worst in us?

Eric Loo

Modified 25 Mar 2020, 12:41 am

COMMENT | Spaniards banged their pots to protest the government’s handling of Covid-19. Italians sang patriotic songs on their balconies to lift community spirit during the lockdown. Australian "mateship" banded together during the flood and bushfires.

Malaysians own such community spirit too. But our spirit is "communal" only to the extent that it does not curb our daily comforts.

Why abide by the government directives and act for the collective welfare when others are not doing it? Is this who we really are, until Covid-19 hits us or kills our loved ones?

With Covid-19, what we do or defy affects our neighbour and the viral spread. We are in a public health crisis where many will lose when a few flouts the rules.

We should be seeing stronger communal solidarity and more compassion emerging from the public health crisis. It should bring out the best in us. Instead, media reports show how we have spurned what we should be doing in a pandemic – responsive caring, adjusting to new norms, heeding the advice of the health authorities.

Yes, it is hard to locate the fulcrum that balances individual and familial priorities with the health safety of the broader community. So, what now?...

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