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Is 2020 a dreadful 366 days or a massive awakening?
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It opens our eyes and forces us to see how horrible and self-centered humanity has become.

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The Argument

2020 has given the world an identity crisis. In other words, in looking to just one event of 2020, the BLM movement and George Floyd's killing have managed to birth a phenomenon infinitely larger than itself. One that can only be regarded as a "Great Awakening" of empathy and solidarity— an occasion that only becomes more important when considering the lack of historical precedent.[1] Thus, through these aspects, we as humans are forced to analyze not only our own lives but the world around us. In doing this, "many more white Americans now accept that anti-black racism is a real and present danger. For large numbers of people, the idea that 'racism is over' is now itself over."[1] This is significant as more individuals will be outraged by racial injustice and will actively use their own privilege to seek a better society, even if they are not entirely sure on how to do that.[1] How could these events not have an impact on human trajectory? In looking at the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, such an event truly highlighted the unrelenting selfishness of many. Specifically, the unwillingness of individuals to wear medical masks that will assist in halting the spread of the virus. And this selfishness is not without consequences, rather this selfishness will lead to the end of humanity itself.[2] For example, "[p]rotestors in Michigan stormed Lansing with Trump banners, Confederate flags, the ubiquitous “Don’t Tread on Me” signs and guns, demanding their right to get sick and not listen to their Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. In fact, demanding to 'lock her up.' 'It’s time for our state to be opened up,' said one female protestor in her car. 'We’re tired of not being able to buy the things that we need, go to the hairdressers. It’s time to open up.'"[2] Such a sentiment forces us to look deep within ourselves and analyze the way in which our morals fall. Such an exercise would not have been possible without the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frankly, sometimes it takes a disastrous event to truly look at the specifics.[2]

Counter arguments

Regarding racial violence and protests, 2020 is not the first year to experience such tension. The 1960s proved among the most violent when looking to American history and its connection to racial injustice. What makes the events of 2020 any more impactful?[3] Moreover, COVID-19 is hardly the world's first pandemic. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history, so again, how could the effects of COVID-19 in 2020 prove different?[4] Although the idea that such events would open the eyes of humanity to selfishness and injustice is a beautiful one, this sentiment is simply false. Instead, in times of uncertainty and insecurity, individuals will become inherently more selfish in order to ensure their own preservation of self, both mentally and physically.[5] For example, when looking at the young people partying for spring break on the streets and beaches of Miami, it is clear that they hardly did any self-reflection. Otherwise, they would have been seriously phased by the intensity of COVID-19. They would not be using excuses centering around how only those who are old and frail are affected. Instead, they would take responsibility for their actions and how their participation in mass events could harm their own relatives— if not themselves. Furthermore, this event is not unique. Rather, similar acts of selfishness continue as individuals double down into themselves: Refusing to open their eyes to the world. In a way, such an act is almost protecting oneself. For if they were truly aware of the harm and injustice they committed, and how self-centered humanity had become, it would surely destroy them.[5]

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/opinions/great-awakening-empathy-solidarity-george-floyd-jones/index.html
  2. https://medium.com/the-national-discussion/covid-19-pandemic-reveals-the-epidemic-of-selfishness-a33db07466a8
  3. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemic-history.htm
  5. https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-what-makes-some-people-act-selfishly-while-others-are-more-responsible-134341
This page was last edited on Sunday, 19 Jul 2020 at 00:03 UTC