We’re in the midst of the 2020 holiday season.

This is a time when we are usually able to take some time off, relax a little bit, and enjoy ourselves. Yes, we all had a different idea of what this holiday season would look like, but we should, in theory, still be striving to have a good time.

And, many people are doing much more than that. There are people all over the country who aren’t letting the pandemic interfere at all with their regular holiday plans. People seem to have stopped understanding the severity of the virus and are throwing caution to the winds. They have chosen to ignore the reality of what Covid is and don’t want their usual holiday plans interrupted.

I, for one, have been having a very hard time enjoying myself this holiday season. All I can think about is our healthcare workers. 

Yes, if you decide to engage in unsafe behavior, that is your prerogative. But, you are doing that without thinking about all of the healthcare workers who had to miss their own Christmases because of you. You’re forgetting about the healthcare workers who can’t see their families because of you. You aren’t sparing a second thought to the shortage of healthcare workers because of how many of them are getting sick because of you. 

Hospitals are over capacity because they are overrun with patients. Patients have to wait in ambulances for six hours because there are no available hospital beds. Scheduled surgeries are getting postponed. Nurses in training are having patients thrown at them. Patients are getting transported hundreds of miles to other hospitals because all of the hospitals around them are over capacity. Healthcare workers are already experiencing PTSD from all of the death and severe sickness they see.

But, you don’t care about that. All you care about is that you get to do what you want.

Except for if you become one of those patients, right? Then you’ll be wondering why you can’t get an ICU bed.

On Christmas day, every hospital in LA was over capacity, and it hasn’t slowed. Doctors and nurses could not celebrate Christmas because they had to work unimaginably long hours to put their own lives at risk in helping patients. Patients who chose to engage in risky behaviors despite all of the warnings. And now we know that there is a new 70%-more-contagious strain in the U.K. that may have already made its way over to the U.S.

Going to the gym, a restaurant, or an in-person religious service is not worth the risk. If you are really a person of faith, you can practice from home. If you are really concerned about your physical well-being, you can work out from home. You can get takeout and eat it in a safe place. Otherwise, you are directly the cause of the pain and suffering. Is that the kind of behavior a person of faith would exhibit?

I used to get into arguments with a friend about libertarianism.

He said that people, if left to their own devices, would choose to do the right thing. That, if left ungoverned, they would make thoughtful and caring choices for the good of all. That selfishness is good, because every decision is motivated by selfishness at its core. I disagreed. I said people need governing or their selfishness would motivate them into making short-sighted, risky choices that benefit only the individual.

My theory been proven correct in the most bitter of ways. My friend’s way of thinking is clearly foolish, as demonstrated by the people refusing to perform the simple act of wearing masks. Thanks to the 2.9 million people making non-essential trips this holiday season, we know now the darkest of depths that selfishness can take a person. That most people don’t care at all about those around them. That people will throw tantrums like misbehaving children about wearing a piece of cloth over their faces. That they are ok with potentially killing somebody else because they cling to their juvenile notions about face coverings.

Is wearing a mask really an infringement on your rights, or is it the right thing to do?

So, I ask you, where is your care?

Where is your love? Where is the bigger picture? Why only see things from such a myopic perspective of your little world instead of the world around you? The people around you? Why don’t you see that it’s not all about you?

This absolute selfish narcissism is entirely baffling.

So, this holiday season, I’m choosing to quarantine in my apartment.

I know that if I decided to celebrate with my friends, I would be fraught with worry. I would feel guilty about contributing to the spread of the virus instead of the containment.

Most of all, I would feel guilty disrespecting all of the unselfish healthcare workers who put their lives on the line every day. And they do this mostly for people who arguably don’t deserve it. For selfish people making reckless decisions.

It does not have to be this way. Please, please, please make better decisions. This is the holiday season, a time for caring. For generosity and kindness. Do the generous, kind, and caring thing and stay home. Stay safe. Be smart. Our healthcare workers deserve it.


Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash

One Reply to “This Holiday Season, Think of Your Healthcare Workers”

  1. I really like this article about the health care workers during the holidays. I took some time to help them during Christmas. You don’t realize how much they’re going through until you actually talk to them one-on-one.

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