Becoming The Compassionate Ones

Dear Friends:

Recently I was browsing the web and came across this article entitled, The different types of college students and their reactions to COVID-19 by Avani Venkatesh published about a year ago. I was fascinated because the categories presented seem to describe so many of us in these last months, not only college students.

Venkatesh starts by noting that coronavirus needs no introduction, adding that the repercussions of the virus on the economy, the lower class, and the health care system in America are unmatched. The author then lists and describes different college-student perspectives on COVID-19 as:

The Overwhelmed Ones

The Desensitized Ones

The Paranoid Ones

The Informed Ones

The ‘Let's Buy Cheap Plane Tickets’ Ones

The Sociological Ones

The Overwhelmed Ones are scared, anxious, and are not coping with change well. Aside from the global pandemic, they are more concerned by how their daily lives have changed. They will have to move completely to online classes, and will not be getting a tuition, food, or housing refund. Their mind is racing trying to figure out how they will survive transitioning from the most novel, stimulating environment they have ever been in (college) to the least (home with parents).

The Desensitized Ones: The desensitized ones do not understand the gravity of the situation and are not practicing social distancing. Current college students are a generation victim to information overload and are severely desensitized to all types of news. They have been on social media since adolescence and are accustomed to constantly receiving shocking information. When everything is exaggerated, everything is a big deal, which means nothing is. Their desensitized nature makes this group a danger to themselves and everyone around them. They do not understand the importance of “flattening the curve” and are making the lives of the elderly, immunocompromised, and healthcare workers more difficult.

The Paranoid Ones: This group is overreacting to the gravity of the situation. They have bought three water bottle cases, 35 rolls of toilet paper, 10 boxes of pasta, and 15 packets of Clorox wipes. Rather than helping the situation through practical methods, they are perpetuating it, making goods inaccessible for lower income families and creating a sense of panic in the community. Urgency is important and causes people to act with caution and foresight. Panic creates selfishness and relates to gun sales in America increasing as the pandemic worsens. In a time where empathy and compassion are needed most, panic and selfishness are the worst quality to display.

The Informed Ones: The informed ones are doing their part in researching and spreading reliable information. Though it is difficult to research and find information on such a new, under researched virus, they are trying their best. The informed one, most importantly, is pointing out misinformation and unreliable sources, which are very apparent all-over social media.