OPINION: Understanding Empathy During a Pandemic


Photo Source: Impakter

Ariana Bruno, Writer

If these past years have proven anything, it’s that we as a society have gone through many epiphanys with this pandemic. Some are in pain due to the loss of a loved one, many are struggling with job loss, isolation, and poor mental health. Being in a pandemic for so long, it can bring many of us into difficult conversations that arise when someone’s behavior or actions endanger others. Covid-19 is a test of empathy, and our actions demonstrate our ability to put others first. 

No matter what you decide to believe in about this pandemic, we need to acknowledge what empathy exactly is and why it’s important. Empathy is when you have the ability to understand and share feelings of another. You allow yourself to be sensitive to others, and you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. 

Throughout lockdown, most of us have behaved responsibly. Some stayed home to prevent the spread of Covid, socially distanced, and got vaccinated. But, as restrictions partially lifted, hundreds of others went out to parties and public places without taking precautions. Yes, as a teenager, isolation is hard, and it’s difficult to feel like I’m having the ‘proper’ high school experience, and I’m sure many others can relate. I’ve missed out on many things that I may never get to experience again. However, I do understand that I can put my health in danger, along with others I love and care about. “I don’t think this affects me,” “My grandma died from Covid, I don’t even care,” “Why should I care? Covid isn’t killing anyone anymore,” are just a handful of remarks I’ve heard these past 2 years. If we have trouble considering the well-being of others more vulnerable to catching the virus, how can we begin to empathize with anyone outside of our own experience?

This pandemic has tested all of us and if we are willing to make small sacrifices to prioritize the safety of others before our own comfort. Our actions can and will impact others. Many of us have parents who work in the medical field that can’t come home to their own family after a 12-hour shift, high risk relatives, or other medical issues that could potentially get worse (or lead to death) if they contract the virus.

During this pandemic, I hope we can all learn from others. I hope we can work on helping and understanding others. The world needs more kindness, and I hope we will make a change.


***This opinion article reflects the voice of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Viking Times as a whole.;. Like most news outlets, The Viking Times is a non-partisan media platform.***