The United States of Selfish

Robyne Stevenson
2 min readDec 6, 2020
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Immediate gratification is our national obsession and it has come home to roost. We want to be “over” this pandemic and be able to do whatever we want whenever we want. Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t care what we want.

We are selfish people. We want it now and anyone who tells us differently is wrong. We don’t care if it is a scientist or doctor telling us. We don’t care if it is our parent or family member telling us. We don’t care if it is an elected official telling us. I want, so I will. You can’t stop me. We’ve become a nation of toddlers.

We all saw the Thanksgiving travel-palooza. Now it’s the Hospital-palooza. Had to have that turkey with the fam. Had to. Maybe rethink your Christmas plans?

The virus does not discriminate, though it finds a haven more easily in older and more vulnerable people. But if it can find a way in, it will, regardless of what you think is fair.

Too many people do as they please because they choose to believe what suits them, not what will actually stop the virus. They believe the virus isn’t real or it’s mild. They believe it’s unfair to have to wear a mask. They believe that staying home is unfair and too much to ask. They believe they have the right to go visit friends and families for holidays, go to bars and restaurants, and live their life “freely.” Freedom ain’t free, but no one ever believes that.

The national narrative is muddled. Our national psyche may be so damaged that a large number of people, too large to stop the virus, may not change their behavior. President-Elect Biden is calling for 100 days of mask-wearing to stop the virus. I predict it will fall on too many deaf ears to make the difference we need to stop the spread. Selfish is the US gold standard right now.

We are at a national stalemate.

Stay home, wear a mask anytime you go out for essential items, and don’t visit people outside your household. People who want to survive will do this. People who don’t, won’t. Selfish kills.

Do what you can to support friends and neighbors who don’t have a job, who will lose it if they stay home, who are being evicted, who want to stop the virus but are between a rock and a hard place. This is a national emergency, even though many people refuse to believe it is.

We could be on the road to recovery by New Year’s if enough people follow the guidelines. We can beat the virus. Other countries have. The vaccine will help. This may end badly. I hope not.

Robyne Stevenson

I travel the country in my Airstream meeting people and enjoying life. I’m a writer. I was a Professor of Politics. Things change.