How COVID-19 creates social hypocrisy

Student posts may not reflect the way they live

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In a pandemic that has now claimed the lives of more than 330,000 Americans, any foreigner would certainly expect citizens to avoid large gatherings and events to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. However, many Americans, even within our community, pick and choose the circumstances in which they decide to be “affected” by COVID-19. American news publications demonstrate that they clearly do not care about the actual spread of COVID-19; rather, they care about calling out opposing political parties for supposed wrongdoings. 

While it is important for Americans to remain COVID-19 conscious, those from either side of the spectrum must refrain from politicizing the pandemic.

Miramonte High School students are partially at fault for perpetuating a hypocritical culture around COVID-19. 

While many students repost Instagram stories that advocate for social distancing and demean those who gather in large groups, some students don’t buy it. They say that these critical Instagram stories and statements are quite hypocritical themselves as many of these Instagram users end up attending rallies and protests that break the very social distancing guidelines they preach about.  

“At Miramonte, there is an abundance of hypocrisy. People constantly criticize others for not following COVID-19 protocol and then do the exact same thing themselves,” sophomore Kyle Odmark said. 

While students will make posts on social media to condemn others for not wearing masks and applaud some for attending rallies, those same students will continue to meet with friends and go to parties or other gatherings, possibly spreading the virus.

Recent protests and celebrations about the outcome of the 2020 election consisting of thousands of people illustrate some of the largest inconsistencies in judgment by the left. While Democrats won’t hesitate to condemn many masked or unmasked gatherings, such as campaign rallies for President Donald Trump, they turn a blind eye to protests with thousands of people, including the more recent celebrations of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

Though Republicans will be fast to call out their Democrat counterparts for breaking social distancing guidelines, they do so while simultaneously breaking COVID-19 regulations themselves. Republicans criticize Democrats for breaking guidelines at Biden celebrations, yet thousands of Trump supporters attended Trump rallies. Both sides of the political spectrum have been extremely inconsistent in their condemnation and tend to only go after the opposing end of the aisle. 

The coverage by American news publications including the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Washington Post provides further evidence of the hypocrisy present in both our media and demonstrated by the citizens of the country. In a Nov. 7 article by Jeremy Herb of CNN covering the celebrations that erupted following Biden’s victory, there was not a single mention of these partiers breaking social distancing and state guidelines, even though some of the photos used by CNN showed people without masks and in extremely close proximity to each other.

Contrast this article with one by John Harwood for CNN covering a rally for Trump, and rallies show that he “hasn’t taken the pandemic seriously.” While it is important to call out Trump’s irresponsibility when it comes to the coronavirus, people must be consistent in their judgment of others’ actions and not hesitate to call out people of different political affiliations to avoid politicizing the virus. 

“The double standard is obvious and anyone will tell you that, Democrat or Republican. It has become the norm and is no longer surprising,” Miramonte junior George Destino said.

Hypocrisy in this politicization of COVID-19 is bipartisan. In a Nov. 14 article by Marisa Schultz for Fox News, there is mention of “tens of thousands of President Trump supporters gathered [on] Saturday in Washington”, yet no mention of the blatant disregard for social distancing guidelines. 

In another Fox News article covering the celebrations for Biden’s victory published Nov. 8 by Evie Fordham, there is criticism toward Biden and his supporters for not addressing concerns that the celebrations in the name of his victory are breaking social distancing guidelines. While Fox News criticizes supporters of Biden for contributing to the spread of coronavirus, the network neglects to criticize supporters of Trump for breaking the exact same guidelines. Both the liberal and conservative news outlets only care about holding the opposite party accountable for a lack of COVID-19 consciousness.

It’s not as if these celebrations, rallies, and protests are small affairs that exist within the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thousands of people congregating in close proximity to one another is a blatant violation of COVID-19 protocols, and many medical professionals express their discontent with these gatherings as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the United States. The failure of both Democrats and Republicans to condemn these celebrations shows a superficial politicization of the pandemic. 

“Gentle reminder to everyone–the virus doesn’t care about why you are gathering. So please make informed choices that will help us control #COVID,” the United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted on Nov. 7.

Both sides fail to criticize their own followers while condemning the opposing side for breaking the exact same guidelines while scapegoating their opponents. Not only is this behavior immature, it is dangerous. It diminishes the actual threat of the pandemic by pinning the blame on the opposing side and waiving all personal accountability.

COVID-19  should not be a liberal or conservative issue. We need national uniformity, starting within Miramonte itself, to effectively combat COVID-19. That begins with those of differing political views uniting their judgments of each other during the pandemic. We all need to treat COVID-19 a national pandemic that threatens the lives of everyone.