Is COVID-19 making us lose our sense of community?

Editor:

COVID-19 is all everyone is talking about. Social media posts are filled with misinformation, rumours, news updates, memes, photos of empty shelves and people hoarding toilet paper. If you’re not sick from the virus, you may be suffering from acute annoyance to all the noise about COVID-19.

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While we’re all in a heightened state of alert and concern, I feel like we’re starting to lose our sense of humanity and community.

Last weekend I visited the Shoppers Drug Mart in Tsawwassen where the lady behind the counter didn’t look very happy to be there. She said a customer buying 30 bottles of hand sanitizer started shouting and swearing at her when she told him there was a limit.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about staff being abused at this store. Last Christmas I was there with my daughter and had to intervene when a lady started verbally abusing one of the cashiers. I’m sure this scenario is happening across the country as people hoard toilet paper, food and other items.

I consider Tsawwassen a very close-knit community. I’ve been living here for over two years and witness many acts of kindness toward total strangers. Why can we, as a community, come together in tough times as we do when everything is fine?

Is COVID-19 turning everyone into a selfish monster? Can we be nicer to the staff at stores, hospitals and service providers who, despite what’s going on, are still serving the public and making sure you get your supplies?

They are the front line, putting themselves at risk, so you can buy 30 boxes of toilet paper and 40 bottles of hand sanitizers. Can we stick to the store limit to ensure everyone has supplies?

Not all hope is lost, mind you. I’ve recently seen a post on the Tsawwassen Loop Facebook group asking for anyone who needs help with getting groceries or out of stock items. This made me get my trust back in humanity and in our community.

Let’s be good neighbours in times of need and help one another. This isn’t the Zombie apocalypse. This too shall pass. Your lack of empathy for others, your bad attitude, your rudeness will stay with you well past this pandemic.

Maikel Parets

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