Put an end to pandemic shaming


Many have started to criticize and shame others on social media for not following social distancing guidelines or wearing masks and gloves. However, freshman Sarah Buttikofer believes that education is the only way to end the spread of the pandemic.

Sarah Buttikofer, Staff Writer

Pascack Valley and other schools throughout the country have been shut down due to something that we all have grown to know so well — the coronavirus. 

As many of us are staying home and have a lot of time on our hands due to the coronavirus, the pandemic has brought out the best, and in some cases, the worst of people. This threat to our health has opened up a new reason to shame and mistrust people based on how they are handling the situation. 

We are shooting each other dirty looks in the grocery stores based on if they are wearing masks and gloves, and on social media, many are shamed for not social distancing.

The term “covidiot” first originated on Urban Dictionary on March 16 and has been going around social media regularly ever since, describing a person who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety. In one night, nearly 3,000 tweets used this name to call out poor practices, according to The Guardian.

The Guardian also reported that one woman even stepped up to explain the hate she got after large crowds attended her market. Rather than asking the council, which was in charge of the event, to shut down the market, Hilda received angry comments, tweets, emails, and phone calls.

Hilda is not the only one who has been affected and judged throughout the pandemic. On March 18, CBS News tweeted a video of American spring breakers partying in Miami and disregarding social distancing recommendations. As expected, the post was flooded with comments criticizing the intelligence of the college students.

Someone went as far as to ask for a student’s scholarship to be rescinded. The same student later deleted their Facebook page.

Instead of judging people’s actions, we have to support and educate each other to get through this pandemic.

While people are just trying to keep themselves and those around them safe, the ways in which many are expressing this are wrong. Pandemic shaming is continuously making the situation worse, and educating people would be more helpful for everyone.

We have to ask ourselves, what will really improve this whole situation in the long run because it is not productive to point fingers.

We have to provide a strong support system and help each other get through this, and pandemic shaming is the exact opposite.

The sooner we change our ways, the sooner we will create a safer environment, both physically and mentally, for all of us.