There is much danger in only understanding a single story. You can miss the most crucial information from multiple sides. Throughout the past seven months, our world has suffered greatly, “People are dying every day in the United States of COVID-19… trust in public health officials is dropping” (Garcia-Navarro).
Throughout this time, people have been extremely confused on what to believe, and it greatly affects their behavior. This results in people struggling to trust the healthcare professionals, but these are the people who have put their time and effort into conducting research regarding this virus: “In short, Americans are confused and mistrustful of the people who are supposed to get us out of this health crisis” (Garcia-Navarro).
People are constantly questioning what is safe and what is not: Can I go out in public? How many people are allowed to attend? Will there be proper social distancing at this event? Do I need to clean each surface I touch? Do I have to wear a mask? We need to have empathy for everyone during this time because we are all going through this together and we do not understand fully what to do.
The danger of a single story is relevant during this time as well, people only read one news article about a virus spike and make their own conclusions. The more we learn about the virus and its patterns, the less the danger of a single story will be evident. Even healthcare professionals are learning every day what is the safest thing to do, even if that means taking away certain events and activities. What is safe one day may be too dangerous the next.
This is why empathy is so important; we need to respect what everyone is comfortable with and work from there. Whether a pandemic is consuming our world or not, empathy can be used in a variety of spaces in everyday life: “‘Empathy is essentially the science of understanding… it’s necessary in elementary schools, on a collegiate level and in a corporate boardroom’” (Burnett). Empathy is a key way to connect with the people around us because it shows them that we care about them and the situation that they are in. There will always be a new obstacle that we have to face, and empathy will make these obstacles easier to overcome.
“Alan Alda On The Importance Of Empathy During The COVID-19 Pandemic”. 13 Sept. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/09/13/912424799/alan-alda-on-the-importance-of-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.
Burnett, John. “Stefon Harris – Vibraphonist, Educator, Thinker – Teaches Empathy From The Bandstand”. 30 Mar. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/03/30/822024071/stefon-harris-vibraphonist-educator-thinker-teaches-empathy-from-the-bandstand.Tags: Empathy RHS