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Alba Iulia
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Masking empathy

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For comments or feedback, email thadmangalino@gmail.com

During World War II, the British government imposed a total blackout. The citizens were urged to stay indoors and black out their windows to make it difficult for the German bombers to stealthily bomb Londoners while they sleep.  Many were against it and the majority followed the rules.

It was inconvenient for the citizens to turn the city into total darkness, the London Bobbies (Police Force) would patrol the streets and look for houses that emit light through their curtains. They fined people for striking a match to light their cigarette. The police enforced a lower speed limit as it was dangerous to drive in the dark with a modified headlight to lessen the illumination from the vehicles. 

Did it work? According to historians, it partially worked. The lack of geographical markers and lights made it difficult for the enemy aircraft to pinpoint a target.

The German planes were still able to create damage such as ports, factories, airfields and other prominent landmarks. Approximate 41,000 civilians were killed in the bombing of Britain, compared to the Allied bombing of Germany that killed between 300,000 to 600,000 civilians. 

Fast forward to 2020, we are in a similar situation in which we have been asked to comply. We have been told by the Victorian government to mask up to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Many citizens are ignoring the plea, and in a news report, an individual walked into a home improvement/hardware store in Melbourne giving the staff member a hard time claiming discrimination for not letting her in the store without a facemask.

What bothers me is the same generation who blacked out their windows and survived the war are the same demographics that are hardest hit due to this pandemic.

I mentioned this on my Podcast when I quoted a friend of mine who was a ranked officer in the Indian Armed Forces in which he stated, “During World War II or in a typical war-like scenario, it was easier as we have an idea who to run away from. We know our allies and non-allies. The problem with COVID is you don’t know who you will catch it from, anyone can pass it on to you and you can pass it on to anyone.”

Our world has been turned upside down. This is the new normal and I believe that we will not go back to the good old days. One of the biggest lessons that I have taken away from this experience is we need to have more empathy.

I notice that not everyone has empathy; everyone is all about himself or herself. They want to project their own model of the world and would gladly give the middle finger to the people who don’t agree with their model of the world.

Yes, the politicians and health experts are trying to figure out the next step. The cure and answers could be 24 months away. We could continue like this until the first quarter of 2021 or longer. 

Wearing the mask may not be the cure; it may not even protect you from the pandemic. No one has the answer yet, but let’s be sensitive to other people’s model of the world and mask up.

Until next time STAY FOCUSED!

(For comments or feedback, email thadmangalino@gmail.com)

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