Viral Complaints

Disappointment and suffering are unavoidable during a pandemic, but we can do better than nag our way through to a vaccine.

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photo by Alyssa Bruce

Although most have adapted to new pandemic procedures, such as missing out on large events such as concerts, it is still a frequent complaint for many.

Alyssa Bruce, Staff Writer

Almost daily, complaints about Corona cancellations and masks are heard throughout schools, workplaces, and seemingly everywhere else. This is understandable, as the virus has caused many beloved events, such as Homecoming, athletic competitions, and concerts, to be cancelled. However, the complaints are understandable only to an extent.

Yes, losing experiences like attending Friday night football games is unfortunate, even tragic for some. Expressing disappointment is completely normal. But it is when this complaining becomes excessive, and potentially privileged, that it is necessary to step back and be thankful for what hasn’t been lost, such as a loved one.

COVID-19 has had detrimental effects on everyone and has disrupted normal life. But constantly carping about disruptions to our schedule will not change the fact that what’s cancelled is cancelled. In fact, it will only cause more anguish.

Instead, we should be grateful that the worst effect the virus had personally was cancelling a Harry Styles concert. Dealing with disappointments properly as they arise is unfortunately a large part of teenage life right now, and the quicker we learn to accept it and try to make the best of the situation, the better things will be.

There is a line between being disappointed and making the situation worse by whining excessively. ”

To me, one of the most annoying complaints relates to face masks. It seems that some of us cannot go 20 minutes with one on before the complaints start flying. “This is so hot!” “I can’t believe I have to wear this!’” “I can barely breathe!’”  I’m sure you’ve heard others.

While a mask can be slightly bothersome at times, it really should not be an issue. It is a light piece of fabric that only covers half of the face, not a metal helmet. Even if they are so irritating to wear, complaining gets us nowhere. Saying that the mask is too itchy doesn’t take away from the fact that the mask is itchy. It still needs to be worn. Being hot or itchy or generally uncomfortable in a mask is a much better option than potentially infecting someone or being infected with the virus.

I will admit that I have made my fair share of complaints, especially recently with the cancellation of the Homecoming dance. But again, there is a line between being disappointed and making the situation worse by whining excessively. 

Actually, disappointment can be used to motivate us to change our behavior.  I’ve found that I’m much happier when I think of different, safer ways to still enjoy what was recently cancelled. For example, a cancelled sports game can still be enjoyed by watching the game with family or one friend. Homecoming can be celebrated by dressing up and going out to dinner in a small group. Obviously, the original event would be better than the alternative, but making the best of an unfortunate situation can end up being enjoyable.

Everyone has the right to complain about what Corona has taken from us. But before doing so, it is important to remember what we are still privileged enough to have. Having the privilege of affording concert tickets and fancy banquets is a very fortunate thing. Yes, Corona may have robbed us temporarily, but we must not lose sight of larger matters.

Concerts, sporting events, other social functions are likely to return in the future. For now, however, it is necessary that we understand that our health — and not our personal wishes — is the top priority, as it should be.