Opinion column: Where is our empathy?


The level of frustration in Ohio and other states is has reached a boiling point for many.

And I understand that.

There are just too many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19.

We have no idea what is going to happen from one day to another.

I get the uneasiness that comes with not knowing what the future holds. I understand that frustration.

I feel it myself.

We’re all sick of masks and sanitizer and social distancing and rules and regulations.

I understand depression.

And I understand anger.

But I don’t get the point of taking that anger out on others.

I don’t get the outrage and bullying and rudeness and viciousness I see daily on social media, on TV news shows, in the checkout line at Meijer, or Drug Mart and at restaurants.

It’s ugly.

For me, that’s the most frustrating part of trying to deal with this pandemic.

The lack of empathy for those who believe COVID-19 is a real danger — and not a made-up plot by the government to control us — is disheartening.

If you think the Russians or Chinese or the leaders of this nation have joined in a vast conspiracy to stage a fake pandemic, that’s your prerogative.

But why are you taking out your outrage on others?

Why are you insulting or making fun of those with serious fears about COVID-19?

That’s what I don’t understand.

I want to respond each time I read outrageous and rude and undeserved comments about health officials or politicians or school superintendents and principals.

But it won’t do any good. It will just entice others to join in on the name-calling.

It’s sad.

It’s something I expect on Twitter, which has become the new home-base of the outrageous and rude.

It’s not what I expected to see on local Facebook pages operated by Galion-area residents who are doing nothing more than trying to communicate needed information to other Galion-area residents.

I see it almost daily.

But I don’t understand it.

Do the insults make your arguments more viable?

I have friends and family who have legitimate fears about COVID-19.

I have friends and family who think it is all a big hoax. They don’t believe COVID-19 is real.

Sadly, it’s that second group of friends and family, who have no empathy and no respect for the fears of others.

I just don’t get it.

Why is someone who wears a mask so frightening to you?

It’snot harmful and it is certainly not an infringement on your freedoms.

The lack of empathy in Galion and north central Ohio —and I assume around the rest of the nation — astonishes me.

It just makes me sad.

In fact, its the part of this pandemic I find the most disheartening.

Let those who believe wear their masks in peace. Allow them the freedom to sanitize their carts and vehicles and and wash their hands and the hands of their children as much as they want.

What’s the harm?

I thought we were better than that.

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Email Russ Kent at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com

Email Russ Kent at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com