A woman’s husband is in the hospital struck down with COVID-19. He’s the primary breadwinner in the household. She cooks and delivers food as well for some income. While she’s supposed to be quarantined, she continues to cook and deliver her meals as a way to earn revenue.
She’s being irresponsible, most will say. But this is a simplistic view of her predicament.
On the one hand, there’s a possibility she may be sick and spread COVID-19. On the other hand, she knows if she doesn’t get some cash, she can’t buy food this week.
The pandemic has shown cracks in society and inequality in terms of opportunity and economy. The number of choices available for a large percentage of the population is small, and none of them good.
I know of many parents who had to leave their school-aged children alone at home while they went to work and schools, including childcare centres, were closed. Were they acting irresponsibly? What should have been the better action?
These people are not acting irresponsibly. They lack good choices. And when all you have are bad choices, then it’s always a lose-lose, and you go with the lesser of two evils. It’s easy for many people to judge when they are comfortably working from home and continuing to make a living. You are comparing their choice to the ones available to you, but not to them.
I cannot blame these persons for their choice. They are doing what they have to do to survive. I don’t consider them irresponsible at all.
I consider businesses that can open during this time and do so without understanding that there is a pandemic ongoing as overly irresponsible. Those who mandate their people to come into the office physically because they don’t feel that the persons are being productive enough at home. Or those who continue all their projects, even project that are not essential to their business operations, adding stress to an already stressful situation.
While I don’t want businesses failing, a company can always be restarted. A lost life will never be reclaimed.