We all had a routine before this pandemic started, and they all involved socializing and stepping out of the house. Whether it was turning up at BGC on a Saturday night, or having brunch out with family & friends on a Sunday morning, leaving the house was practically essential.
However, since the lockdown took place, you might have read sarcastic comments on social media such as “Wala na bang pandemya?” or “Sobrang pasaway, sabi na ngang ‘wag umalis ng bahay, diba?” which you might even consider as discrimination–Pandemic Discrimination
It’s officially become a thing to send hate or to nudge a subtle sign of disapproval to people who decide to step out of their homes. Ever since lockdown measures have been eased, restaurants and cafes started opening their doors to customers again, and people, more or less, started going about their routines before the pandemic happened.
This has caused an unconscious culture of cyberbullying on the Internet.
Full disclosure, I still hope people are trying to stay home as much as possible, but if people do choose to go out, it’s important to remember the protocols on social distancing, washing of hands and sanitizing alcohol usage, and wearing the proper safety equipment once you’re out in public. While I believe that being allowed to go back to the old normal at the moment is premature, I also think people are forgetting that it is human nature to socialize and have a change of scenery once in a while. Being cooped up at home for months on end can be detrimental to one’s mental health; knowing this, it isn’t at all difficult to understand why people choose to revisit their favorite restaurants, with the social company of their choosing.
Bullying, most especially in cyber form, can be done without even being aware of it a handful of times.
Sharing memes or videos of people who actually do not approve of their faces being spread like wildfire on the Internet is a form of cyberbullying, and most of the time, we do not even realize this–same goes with pandemic discrimination. Whether directly or indirectly, attacking people on cyberspace for merely going out for lunch at their favorite Korean BBQ restaurant with their bestest friends is a form of cyberbullying.
We can’t forget our most basic values; one of which would be to not judge people and the decisions they choose to make, most especially when we do not know the entire story or context. Seeing your friend post an Instagram story of her and her friends dining-out for dinner does not entitle us to judgment, when it is entirely possible that they might have gone out of their houses to help out at a donation drive, and simply chose to grab a bite to eat afterward. Seeing videos of your friend driving on a daily basis doesn’t always equate to a lack of discipline either. We forget that some people are still required to show up at the office for work, whether there is a pandemic or not.
We are all entitled to our opinions, but we must not forget that not everything needs to be said out loud. The whole world had to deal with 2020’s tragic chain of events; we can all stand to be a little kinder to one another.