Living life in a pandemic is not easy for anyone, but there are some groups of people who have been affected more than others. Personally, I believe the current high school seniors and the older generation, the people just beginning the rest of their lives and the individuals nearing the end of their lives, are most negatively affected by this pandemic. However, the attitude these individuals have towards the effects of the virus depends on who they have been surrounded by throughout quarantine. Each person has their own single story, a story that shows an event first hand from one side only, within their lives. When shown empathy, people tend to have a more positive attitude towards unfortunate events, affecting their single story. 

In the article “Alan Alda On The Importance Of Empathy During The COVID-19 Pandemic,” Alda explains, “The thing that worries me the most is that we seem to have a lowering of our compassion for one another – not – but not so much compassion as empathy.” An individual’s single story about their quarantine may only show the mental health issues they experienced, because of the way they felt towards the events taking place, their single story may now show the empathy that their loved ones showed them throughout the difficult time. When individuals are surrounded by others who show them empathy and put themselves in their shoes, their attitude towards everything happening around them becomes more positive. While the unfortunate events of 2020 have taken a toll on most people in one way or another, Alda ensures us, “We’re smart enough and good enough at heart to help one another out” (Alda). In this quote, Alda is proving that everyone’s single story can improve if we just lean on our neighbor and help each other out. Finally, Stefon Harris uses music to help portray the idea of empathy and utilizes his musical single story to help, “change the way people relate to each other — to create empathy” (Harris). Like many others, Harris wants individuals to see people as more than just their single story and create positivity within his listeners. Seeing an individual from just their single story can be degrading and it is important to look further into one’s life.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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