7 Acts of Kindness to Do Today

Crystal Jackson

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Covid-19 is a pandemic and a public health problem. Notice that I didn’t say it’s a political problem. While the personal is political, a pandemic isn’t actually a liberal or conservative issue. It is a natural virus, unique in our lifetimes, and it should be addressed as such.

I’m sure I could post those four, simple sentences on social media and see an avalanche of comments arguing the point. In the United States, there are people who actually believe that a global pandemic was manufactured for political purposes — that every country on the planet has participated in a conspiracy to influence our elections and impact our economy. While it’s mind-boggling that anyone could think that, there is an American tendency to think that the rest of the world revolves around what’s going on here.

Take politics out of it, and let’s focus on public health. According to the American Public Health Association, “public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.” It goes on to explain that public health encompasses scientific research, education, nutrition, and safety. None of that is remotely political — except where we try to make it so.

Public health absolutely trumps personal politics. Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and doing our part to prevent the spread isn’t about our political leanings. Considering public health is instead:

#1 Kindness toward our communities

#2 Respect for our elders

#3 A show of consideration for essential workers

#4 A way to acknowledge the worthiness of those with disabilities

#5 An act of caring and protection for immunocompromised individuals

#6 An act of love to those who are pregnant as well as their unborn children

#7 And a display of consideration and sensitivity for families whose members comprise any of the aforementioned groups

These are all beautiful ways to show consideration, and yet what we see on the news isn’t beautiful at all. We keep trying to politicize a virus. While we do this, people are dying — and their friends and family are mourning these losses, often without the comfort of family and friends or the closure of an in-person funeral.

A kindness approach to Covid-19 may be what we all need to remove the divisions and remind us of our shared humanity. It’s not about who’s better or who’s the most correct; it’s about loving each other enough to put public health before anything else.

There are 10 simple reasons why public health trumps everyone’s politics.

  1. Everything is not about you.
  2. Everything is not about you.
  3. Everything is not about you.
  4. Everything is not about you.
  5. Everything is not about you.
  6. Everything is not about you.
  7. Everything is not about you.
  8. Everything is not about you.
  9. Everything is not about you.
  10. Everything is not about you.

Public health is about the health of our communities. Covid-19 doesn’t care about you personally. Or me. It doesn’t care about our families. It doesn’t care. It’s just a virus, doing what viruses do.

It will spread and infect where prevention is lacking. It doesn’t discriminate between right or left or check your voting registration. It doesn’t even care about the state of your health. Even previously healthy individuals have lost their lives to this deadly virus.

Everything is not about us. Preventing the spread of the virus isn’t about protecting ourselves or our families but our communities at large and the vulnerable populations within them. It hurts my heart that so many people feel like the aged, disabled, and immunocompromised are not worth the effort of wearing a mask, eating at home, or being mildly inconvenienced.

I’m fortunate to live in a home where none of us are considered high-risk. Yet, we have worn masks from the moment the CDC and WHO recommended them to reduce the spread of Covid-19. We have practiced social distancing for months. We didn’t take a vacation this year. We curbed our behaviors to do our part in limiting the spread, but science deniers and those who have politicized a public health emergency have done little to nothing to help. It’s a surprise to no one that my state that has yet to flatten the curve.

I still live in hope that one day we will remember each other. We will look at our neighbors and not see red or blue, conservative or liberal. Instead, we will remember our shared humanity. We’ll drop the callousness we’ve developed toward other human lives and go back inside to get the simple piece of cloth that says, “I care”. We will wear it without resentment knowing that it might be the difference between loving our neighbors and burying them.

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA
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