A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a fight over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up in London, leaving him with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion greet cruise passengers by shouting abuse and throwing rocks at them. Reading about such cases can make one think that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the worst in people.
Yes, horrible things have been happening. However, for every report on panic and greed, there’s one about hope and brotherhood. And Logan Mickel, the creative mind behind the comic series ‘As Much Good‘ believes we should focus on the latter rather than the former. To illustrate his point, he recently created a strip called The 2 OTHER Viruses Going Around Right Now. It takes a good look at selfishness and compassion — the 2 other viruses — and the effects they have on people during the current global crisis.
Image credits: asmuchgood
The pandemic has Logan working from home now, so the editor and university English teacher is spending much more time with his wife and four kids. “We’ve actually enjoyed our time together–making blanket forts and having sleepovers, having our kids be in charge of dinner,” Logan told Bored Panda, adding that their 8-year-old even made sushi today.
But it has been all good. “It was hard to get milk and bread for a while, but now that people have calmed down a bit and the stores have instituted rules, it isn’t really a problem,” he said. “We’ve also started a garden and bought chickens to become more self-reliant. Even though we live in the suburbs, quite a lot of homes have chickens.”
When it comes to remaining compassionate in the face of such fear and uncertainty, Logan thinks the important thing to remember is that panic can cause even more damage than the emergency itself. “The survival instinct is strong. Once that lizard brain kicks in, it must be checked quickly or an otherwise good person will act irrationally and selfishly,” he said. “We start taking far more than we need, telling ourselves that we have to protect ourselves from ‘those selfish jerks out there.’ We don’t realize that in doing this, we ourselves have become that selfish jerk.”
“Along with that, I think it’s important not to lose faith in others. People will help. For every story of people getting in fights at supermarkets, I’ve heard ten stories of people being awesome to each other (I was only able to put a small fraction in the cartoon). Like Mr. Rogers said, always look for the people helping whenever you see scary news. I still believe that the number of good people in the world greatly outnumbers the bad.”
Like Logan mentioned in the comic, he thinks the real test now is not COVID-19, but our reaction to it. “40 years from now, when your grandkids ask what you did during the coronavirus pandemic, do you want to tell them you were part of the solution, or that you mugged an old woman for her toilet paper at Costco? Let’s live in such a way that our future selves aren’t ashamed of us,” he said.