Okay, about a month ago, Gal Gadot teamed up with a bunch of celebrities to create a cover of Imagine, which she posted to her Instagram with a comment about how we’re “all in this together.” The video was met with vitriol, largely because the saccharine display of “support” only served to highlight an inconvenient truth: we are not, in fact, all in this together.
USA Today puts it most succinctly: “There really are two Americas here: Those still getting a paycheck from government, corporations or universities, and those who are unemployed, or seeing their small businesses suffer due to shutdowns.”
Granted, I think there’s some nuance to this statement. Is it fair to say someone who is single but unemployed really has it worse than a parent struggling to make remote work and remote schooling compatible? No, not really. A lot of the US is being hit with very real struggles, whether financial or not, and it’s not productive to compare hardships.
But it is still safe to say that the divide that has always been under the surface has become more apparent during this pandemic. We’ve seen it in how, for a while, it was nearly impossible for people to get tested unless they were rich. We’ve seen it in the social media posts of celebrities who complain about being cooped up (in their luxurious mansions). Hell, we even see it in well-meaning, but tone-deaf, suggestions about what to do if we’re “bored,” like this article that…uh…recommends doing more work “without office distraction.”
You know, because your coworker coffee chats were way more distracting than, say, a cooped up three year old.
The point is, we’re really not in this together. And I say this as one of the lucky ones, who has a job that lets me work remotely, and doesn’t have any kids I have to worry about remote schooling for the foreseeable future. Which puts me in a perfect position to tell everyone in situations similar (and better) to mine: y’all, we gotta be more mindful of other people.
Stop judging parents! Not only is it unprecedented, trying to make life work while handling online schooling that’s basically been created on a hope and a prayer (shout out to the teachers, they’re trying to work miracles) did you know the World Health Organization has released guidelines for helping kids deal with the stress that comes from this pandemic? Parents don’t need 10 cutesy craft ideas, they need your patience. And a nap, probably.
Stop complaining about boredom! No offense, but boredom is what comes after all of your other needs have been met. It’s annoying, sure, and disheartening, but you’re not having to worry about how to pay rent, or taking on the exhausting tasks that many essential workers have to face.
Find ways to help! This can, ironically, be a solution to your boredom problem. As social distancing and isolation continues and the divide grows between those of us who have enough and those who don’t, look for ways you can help your community. Donate to local organizations, buy gift cards or deliveries from local restaurants, deliver care packages to struggling neighbors…the list goes on.
We’re not all in this together, so let’s stop pretending otherwise and do something about it.